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Inconvenient human rights : Water and sanitation in Sweden’s informal Roma settlements

Davis, Martha F. LU and Ryan, Natasha (2017) In Health and Human Rights 19(2). p.61-72
Abstract

Following an increase in Roma migration under the European “freedom of movement” laws, Swedish municipalities initiated more than 80 evictions of informal Roma settlements on the grounds of poor sanitation between 2013 and 2016. These evictions echo policies from earlier in the 20th century, when Roma living in Sweden were often marginalized through the denial of access to water and sanitation facilities. The recent Swedish evictions also follow similar government actions across Europe, where Roma settlements are controlled through the denial of access to water and sanitation. However, access to water and sanitation—central aspects of human health—are universal human rights that must be available to all people present in a jurisdiction,... (More)

Following an increase in Roma migration under the European “freedom of movement” laws, Swedish municipalities initiated more than 80 evictions of informal Roma settlements on the grounds of poor sanitation between 2013 and 2016. These evictions echo policies from earlier in the 20th century, when Roma living in Sweden were often marginalized through the denial of access to water and sanitation facilities. The recent Swedish evictions also follow similar government actions across Europe, where Roma settlements are controlled through the denial of access to water and sanitation. However, access to water and sanitation—central aspects of human health—are universal human rights that must be available to all people present in a jurisdiction, regardless of their legal status. The evictions described here violated Sweden’s obligations under both European and international human rights law. More positive government responses are required, such as providing shelters or camping sites, setting up temporary facilities, and directly engaging with communities to address water and sanitation issues. The authors conclude by providing guidance on how states and municipalities can meet their human rights obligations with respect to water and sanitation for vulnerable Roma individuals and informal settlements in their communities.

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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Health and Human Rights
volume
19
issue
2
pages
12 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85038246951
ISSN
1079-0969
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e02ee70a-92fe-48c6-b758-af8d3d853e15
alternative location
https://www.hhrjournal.org/2017/12/inconvenient-human-rights-water-and-sanitation-in-swedens-informal-roma-settlements/
date added to LUP
2018-01-05 08:43:18
date last changed
2018-01-05 08:43:18
@article{e02ee70a-92fe-48c6-b758-af8d3d853e15,
  abstract     = {<p>Following an increase in Roma migration under the European “freedom of movement” laws, Swedish municipalities initiated more than 80 evictions of informal Roma settlements on the grounds of poor sanitation between 2013 and 2016. These evictions echo policies from earlier in the 20th century, when Roma living in Sweden were often marginalized through the denial of access to water and sanitation facilities. The recent Swedish evictions also follow similar government actions across Europe, where Roma settlements are controlled through the denial of access to water and sanitation. However, access to water and sanitation—central aspects of human health—are universal human rights that must be available to all people present in a jurisdiction, regardless of their legal status. The evictions described here violated Sweden’s obligations under both European and international human rights law. More positive government responses are required, such as providing shelters or camping sites, setting up temporary facilities, and directly engaging with communities to address water and sanitation issues. The authors conclude by providing guidance on how states and municipalities can meet their human rights obligations with respect to water and sanitation for vulnerable Roma individuals and informal settlements in their communities.</p>},
  author       = {Davis, Martha F. and Ryan, Natasha},
  issn         = {1079-0969},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {61--72},
  series       = {Health and Human Rights},
  title        = {Inconvenient human rights : Water and sanitation in Sweden’s informal Roma settlements},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2017},
}