On 2nd April 2014 Baroness Whitaker tabled a question for short debate: ‘ to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to mark International Roma Day.’
The Bishop of St Albans gave a speech highlighting the work being undertaken in Luton in support of the Roma community in the diocese of St Albans, He also focused on the need to improve educational opportunities for Roma children.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, for securing this debate, Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans speech marking International Roma Day”
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what analysis they have made of reports of the forced evictions of Roma communities in Cluj-Napoca, Romania; and whether they will discuss the matter with the government of Romania and ask that government to enforce the decision of the Cluj-Napoca County Court that evictions targeting the Roma community are illegal.
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): Our Embassy in Bucharest has been monitoring this issue closely (along with other forced evictions of Roma e.g. in Eforie Sud and Baia Mare). We understand that the Cluj-Napoca Court recently ruled the forced eviction in December 2010 illegal. However this decision is not final and is subject to appeal. We have raised wider concerns about social inclusion of the Roma with the Romanian government on 28 January. With regard to this specific case, the British Embassy will visit Cluj on 11 February and will raise the issue of forced evictions with the local government. They will also launch a partnership with a local NGO to develop projects aimed at preventing disadvantaged Roma children leaving school before the minimum age. The UK government does not condone unjustified evictions of any community.