Last update:
2019-09-23

A wall around Roma settlement “to protect from noise”, Krusevac, Serbia

A segregation wall built around Roma settlement under the excuse of "protecting" residents from noise. Women, other citizens and the settlement residents protested openly against the wall.


Description:

Serbia has a population of nearly nine million people, of which about 400,000 are Roma. There are many instances of discrimination. The following incident became well known, and it caused a citizens' reaction, mainly by women.  In Kruševac a 120-metre long and 2-metre high wall was erected in November 2016, separating over 2000 Roma living in the Marko Orlović settlement from the rest of the city. The public agency that built the wall, “Roads of Serbia”, claimed that the wall was a “noise barrier” to protect citizens from the traffic from the highway. In fact, the wall only shields the Roma settlement, and does not extend to other stretches of this allegedly “noisy” road where non-Roma dwell. The wall created a barrier which considerably limits access for public services such as ambulances, firefighters, and sanitation services. In addition, this wall exacerbated segregation and ghettoisation, further stigmatising the Roma community, in particular Romani children. Since the wall was uilt, activists and Roma from the community have expressed the view that their children feel more isolated and discriminated at school and excluded from the wider society [1]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:A wall around Roma settlement “to protect from noise”, Krusevac, Serbia
Country:Serbia
State or province:Rasina
Location of conflict:Kruševac
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:No specific commodity in this case. Rather a built segregation wall against Roma
Project Details and Actors
Project details

A two-meter-high wall along the sidewalk next to Marko Orlovic in Bruski put Street, two hundred yards between two roundabouts, was erected in mid-November 2016. The company Roads of Serbia, which was responsible for its installation, then stated that the wall had a function of noise protection, that the representatives of local self-government discussed the matter with the villagers and that the City of Krusevac financed the development of the project. Due to the said wall, the Regional Center for Minorities requested the Commissioner for Equality to investigate the case [2].

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:2000
Start of the conflict:01/11/2016
Company names or state enterprises:Roads of Serbia from Serbia
Relevant government actors:Municipality of Krusevac (Serbia)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Udruženje žena Peščanik (Association of Women Sandglass)
Women's Network of Rasina Districtn for women's rights
Association of women Sandglass, Krusevac
W as a woman, Aleksandrovac
Fund for the improvement of citizens resourses, Trstenik
Calliope, Brus
Roma activists Krusevac
SOS Vlasotince
Women for Peace, Leskovac
Autonomous Women's Center - Good Practice, Belgrade
Children's Roma Center, Belgrade
Independent Women's Center, Dimitrovgrad
The Dawn, Niš
Women's rights Center, Vrsac
Impuls, Tutin
Human Rights Committee Vranje - SOS helpline
Fenomena, Kraljevo
Roma Center for Women and Children Daje, Belgrade
Women in black
Femina, Smederevska Palanka
ASTRA, Belgrade
...From the circle, Belgrade
Association of Roma, Novi Bečej
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Women
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Graffiti
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Fostering a culture of peace
Development of alternatives:Udruženje žena Peščanik (Association of Women Sandglass) Announcement regarding building a wall around Roma settlement Marko Orlovic: We strongly condemn the buiding the wall around a part of the Roma settlement "Marko Orlovic" in Krusevac. We believe that the wall is an indirect expression of discrimination and ghettoisation of members of this national community, and at the same time a manifestation of intolerance towards Roma people, who are traditionaly victims of prejudices and stereotypes. We remind the public that the wall, 120 m long and 2 meters high, which was recently built to supposedly protect citizens from noise and heavy vehicles, the first and only of its kind in Krusevac, it was built so that it only covers the Roma settlement and the in area where the construction of factories and commercial buildings by foreign investors was planned. We support every improvement of the situation of Roma and regulation of settlement "Marko Orlović". But we are sure that the walls don't contribute to it. Neither physical, nor those other, more dangerous - in the heads. The least that the city government can do in this situation that has caused disapproval of a significant part of the public, not only in Krusevac, is to urgently remove the wall and bear full responsibility for their actions [3].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The conflict was not a success since a segregation wall was built under an excuse of "protecting" residents from noise, when in fact it was built to segragate the Roma settlement Marko Orlovic from rest of the Kruševac town [1] [2] [3].
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] WRITTEN COMMENTS BY THE EUROPEAN ROMA RIGHTS CENTRE. ERRC submission to the European Commission on the enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework (May 2017).
[click to view]

[2] Kruševac Grad Aktualne Dnevne Vesti: Protest ispred zida ispred dela romskog naselja „Marko Orlović“
[click to view]

[3] Udruženje žena Peščanik (Association of Women Sandglass) 2016: Announcement regarding building a wall around Roma settlement Marko Orlovic
[click to view]

Other documents

Protest against the built wall in Roma settlement Marko Orlovic Citizens, women and Roma protesting "Against Racism" Source: Grad Krusevac Aktualne Dnevne Vesti
[click to view]

Women protesting in front of the built wall in Roma settlement Marko Orlovic "Stop Racism" Source: Grad Krusevac Aktualne Dnevne Vesti
[click to view]

A graffiti: Wall = Concentration Camp Source: Udruženje žena Peščanik (Association of Women Sandglass)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Ksenija Hanaček ICTA-UAB
Last update23/09/2019
Comments
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