Date of the ruling (Decision on the merits) : June 30th 2011
Jurisdiction : European Committee of Social Rights
Legal basis : Article E (non-discrimination), Article 31§1 (right to housing - promote to housing of an adequate standard), Article 16 (right of the family to social, legal and economic protection) and Article 30 (right to protection against poverty and social exclusion) of the Revised European Social Charter.
The ERRC maintained that the situation in Portugal is in violation of Articles 16, 30, 31, alone or in conjunction with Article E of the Revised Charter, for failure to ensure the provision of adequate and integrated housing solutions for Roma. The ERRC considers that re-housing programmes have failed to integrate Roma and often, in fact, have resulted in spatial segregation and inadequately sized dwellings in areas with poor infrastructure and limited or no access to public services. It considers that the State has a positive obligation to improve the deplorable and constantly deteriorating housing conditions for Roma in informal settlements, where dwellings often consist of unprotected tents exposed to inclement weather conditions, makeshift shacks or dilapidated concrete housing blocks. The ERRC considers that the approach of the Government to the housing situation of Roma points to, at least, indirect discriminatory practices, which keep Roma excluded and marginalised through residential segregation and substandard quality re-housing.
Results and key consequences of the case : The Committee concluded unanimously that there had been a violation of Article E taken in conjunction with Articles 31§1, 16 and 30.
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Resolution on the decision by the Committee of Ministers.