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Roma community in Transylvania evicted to waste water plant surrounded by wire fence, Romania

Roma community evicted from the center of the Miercurea Ciuc town to live in metal barracks next to a sewage water filtering station warn of and suffer toxic danger.


In August 2004, 12 Roma families (over 100 Roma individuals) were evicted by local authorities from a building in Miercurea Ciuc. The families were resettled and  live now in an 800m² field surrounded by nearby waste water filtering station that contains toxic substances [1]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Roma community in Transylvania evicted to waste water plant surrounded by wire fence, Romania
State or province:Transylvania
Location of conflict:Miercurea Ciuc
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Land
Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Local Romanian government decided to forcibly evict Roma to supposed "temporarily" metal cabins located within the hazardous zone of a sewage treatment plant. Some families opted to move into shacks next to a garbage dump rather than live near the sewage plant. The communities still live either next to the sewage plant or garbage dump. Both of the places are problematic in terms of decent and healthy environmental and living conditions [2] [3].

Project area:800
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:100
Start of the conflict:2004
Relevant government actors:The mayor(s) of Miercurea Ciuc since 2004.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The non-governmental organization Romani CRISS (Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies) in partnership with the National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD) documented the case in July 2005, making numerous visits to the site.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Development of alternatives:No alternatives have been proposed although Amnesty International [4]and the CRISS [3] warned several times about the discriminatory situation of the Roma based on ethnicity and race.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Since 2004 Roma people were displaced next to a water and sewage treatment plant. Court case was filed in 2005. In 2010 Amnesty international [4] and a photojournalist [5] in 2013 confirmed that the communities still live next to the sewage plant and others have moved close to a wast dump disposal [4].
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[4] Amnesty International (2010). Left out: Violations of the rights of Roma in Europe.
[click to view]

[6] Jones, S. (2010). The Litmus Test of Europena Democracy in The Challenges of European Governance in the Age of Economic Stagnation. P: 299- Chapter 20.

[3] Berescu., C. (2011). The rise of the new European Roma ghettos: a brief account of some empirical studies
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Petition: Tell Romania to Stop Evicting Roma Families from their Homes (2010).
[click to view]

[1] Amnesty International (2009) Europe's Roma community still facing massive discrimination.
[click to view]

[5] Andreea Tanase Photojournalist visit in May 2013.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Slum Stories: Romania- Roma Miercurea Ciuc 2011
[click to view]

Other documents

Boys next to the containers and improvised houses 9 years after the eviction Source: Andreea Tanase Photojournalist visit in May 2013
[click to view]

The barracks provided by local government as a Source: Andreea Tanase Photojournalist visit in May 2013
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Ksenija Hanacek ICTA-UAB
Last update29/07/2019
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