Report “Unnatural Disaster: Environmental Racism and Europe’s Roma”

Across Europe, entire communities of Roma subsist in deep poverty. Many are forced to live in close proximity to landfills or toxic sites. They are often spatially segregated from the rest of society, living in “settlements”, slum neighbourhoods, or improvised camps, and routinely denied equal access to clean water and sanitation.

Today, on International Roma Day, we are excited to announce the publication of our latest report “Unnatural Disaster: Environmental Racism and Europe’s Roma”. This report sheds light on the environmental injustices that the Roma community faces in Europe.

Despite being the largest ethnic minority in Europe, the Roma people are often marginalised and discriminated against. Our report highlights how this discrimination extends to the environment, with many Roma communities living in areas with high levels of pollution and environmental degradation.

Through extensive research, we have uncovered numerous examples of environmental racism, including the disproportionate placement of hazardous waste facilities in Roma neighbourhoods, lack of access to clean water, and many other violations of human rights.

The report has been produced as a result of the last year’s Western Balkans Roma Summit, which took place in Prishtina, Kosovo, during November 17 – 18.

Civil Rights Defenders has always been committed to supporting Roma rights, and it has always been one of our priorities. We are proud to be among first organisations in Europe to discuss and present to the public the topic of environmental racism that Roma community is facing.

This report is a call to action for policymakers and individuals alike to address the systemic injustices faced by the Roma community. We must work together to create equitable and sustainable environmental policies that prioritise the health and well-being of all communities, including those that have been historically marginalised.

Read the report

Click here to read the full report (in English).

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