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A polluted stream and a landfill as racial segregation of Roma communities, in Jarovnice, Slovak Republic

Roma settlement in Jarovnice segregated by a polluted water stream. Waste collection services are denied for the Roma. Moreover, there is also a municipal waste disposal site close by.


A Roma settlement in Jarovnice is separated from the rest of Slovakian

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:A polluted stream and a landfill as racial segregation of Roma communities, in Jarovnice, Slovak Republic
Country:Slovak Republic
State or province:Prešov
Location of conflict:Jarovnice
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Ecosystem Services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

There is no a particular development project taking place in this case. However the Roma and the settlement they live in is vulnerable exposure to toxic substances from the landfill located near by, to polluted river by the waste and wooden toilets, as well as to floods [1] [2] [3] [7]. There is no access access to potable water and municipal waste management practices are discriminatory [5] [7] [8].

Level of Investment for the conflictive projectUnknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:4,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2007
Relevant government actors:The mayor of Jarovnice municipality
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ETP Slovakia, a nonprofit organisation that works with Roma in the east Slovakia. Mainly housing loan programs.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Infectious diseases, Deaths
Potential: Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents, Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement
Project StatusIn operation
Proposal and development of alternatives:The ETP Slovakia NGO proposes a workshop and financial loan for Roma communities to build their own houses [3]. However, Jarovnice administration fail to integrate and secure basic needs for Roma such as housing and access to water [6]. Instead the government ignores and marginalises the Roma, does not either provide waste removal in the settlement [5] [7] [8].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Nothing has been changed so far. Roma communities still live in an extreme poverty without proper houses nor clean water. The water source the Roma use is polluted either by municipal landfill, the discriminatory practices of no waste removal for the community, and another issue are built toilets close to the river bank. The polluted "separation" water against the Roma community persist.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[2] Amnesty International Publications 2007: Still Separated, still unequal. Roma people in Slovakia
[click to view]

[4] Harper, Krista; Steger, Tamara; and Filcak, Richard, "Environmental Justice and Roma Communities in Central and Eastern Europe" (2009). Environmental Policy and Governance. 5.
[click to view]

[5] Environmental justice in the Slovak Republik: The case of Roma Ethnic minority.

[7]Filcak, R. 2007. PhD dissertation. Environmental Justice in the Slovak Republic: A case study of the Roma Ethnic Minority.
[click to view]


[8] Filčak, R. 2012. Living Beyond the Pale: Environmental Justice and the Roma Minority. Central European University Press. Budapest, Hungary. Pages: 118-122.

[1] In pictures: Roma slums in Romania and Slovakia
[click to view]

[3] Life in Slovakia's Roma slums: Poverty and segregation
[click to view]

[6] Stenger, T. 2007. Making the case for environmental justice in Europe.
[click to view]

[] Floods hit eastern Slovakia hard

Meta information
Contributor:Ksenija Hanacek ICTA-UAB
Last update08/09/2019
Conflict ID:4183
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