European Social Charter

The European Committee of Social Rights delivers a decision on the inadequate housing conditions of Roma in Portugal

European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) v. Portugal, Complaint no. 61/2010


[07/11/2011] The decision on the merits of the European Committee of Social Rights with regard to the case European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) v. Portugal, Complaint no. 61/2010, became public today

The complainant organisation alleged that the situation in Portugal was 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 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.

In its decision , the Committee concluded unanimously that there was violation of Article E (non discrimination) taken in conjunction with Articles 311 (adequate housing), Article 16 (the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection) and Article 30 (right to protection against poverty and social exclusion) and invites the Committee of Ministers to recommend that Portugal pay the complainant organisation a sum of 2,000 as compensation for expenses incurred by the procedure.

Complaint No.61/2010
Decision on the merits

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