Friday, February 12, 2010



Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, visits Kosovo to assess the situation of forced Roma returnees.
Strasbourg, 10/02/10 -

Several European governments are forcibly returning to Kosovo persons who have found shelter in their countries. To assess the situation, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, visits Kosovo from 11 to 13 Febru-ary.

According to UN statistics more than 2 500 persons have been returned from European countries during 2009, mainly from Austria, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Among them are Roma, who have ended up in the lead-contaminated camps of Češmin Lug and Osterode in northern Mitrovica.
The Commissioner will visit these two camps that he already in his report of July 2009 recommended to be closed. He also urged that adequate housing be offered to all families affected, together with courses of decontamination treatment.


The lead levels found in the children of these camps are above any ever encountered by doctors. The Roma have been forced to live there for the past ten years.
We appeal to the international community to voice your disapproval of this situation.


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