European Social Charter

The decision on the merits of the European Committee of Social Rights with regard to the International Federation of Human Rights ( FIDH ) v. Belgium is public

International Federation of Human Rights ( FIDH ) v. Belgium, Complaint No. 62/2010

[31/07/2012] The decision on the merits of the European Committee of Social Rights with regard to the International Federation of Human Rights ( FIDH ) v. Belgium, Complaint No. 62/2010 is public.

In this case, registered on 30 September 2010, FIDH alleges a violation of rights related to housing for Travellers under the European Social Charter.

The complaint concerns, in particular, the insufficiency of stopping places, problems stemming from non recognition of caravans as a home, failure to respect required conditions when carrying out evictions, and the lack of a global and coordinated policy to combat poverty and social exclusion of Travellers.

These allegations concern the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection (Article 16),  and the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion (Article 30), of the Revised European Social Charter, as well as the non discrimination clause (Article E).

In its decision the European Committee of Social Rights concluded as follows:

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article E read in conjunction with Article 16 because of:
a. the failure in the Walloon Region to recognise caravans as dwellings; and
b. the existence, in the Flemish and Brussels Regions, of housing quality standards relating to health, safety and living conditions that are not adapted to caravans and the sites on which they are installed;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article E read in conjunction with Article 16 because of the lack of sites for Travellers and the states inadequate efforts to rectify the problem;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article E read in conjunction with Article 16 because of the failure to take sufficient account of the specific circumstances of Traveller families when drawing up and implementing planning legislation;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article E read in conjunction with Article 16 because of the situation of Traveller families with regard to their eviction from sites on which they have settled illegally;

- by 11 votes to 4 that there is no violation of Article E read in conjunction with Article 16 concerning the situation of Travellers with regard to domiciliation;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article E read in conjunction with Article 30 because of the lack of a co-ordinated overall policy, in particular in housing matters, with regards to Travellers in order to prevent and combat poverty and social exclusion.

Complaint No. 62/2010
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