UK warned not to evict Irish traveller families

Raquel Rolnik

Eighty-six Irish traveller families are facing forced evictions from their homes in the United Kingdom, according to UN independent human rights experts.

The rights experts are calling on the UK government to halt the evictions process and pursue negotiations.

The Basildon District Council in Essex has been trying to evict Irish Traveller families since the late 1990s.

The families who own the land have been repeatedly denied permits for their caravans due to the restrictive "Green Belt" policy applied in the region.

The Green Belt is a policy for controlling urban growth.

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, says evictions are a serious breach of human rights if not carried out with full respect for international standards.

Meanwhile, the UN Independent Expert on minority issues, Rita Izsák, notes that travellers face considerable discrimination and hostility in the wider society.

The evictions would make these families extremely vulnerable.

The 86 families' houses and property will be demolished if they do not vacate by midnight 31 August.

Filed under Today's News.
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