Nineteen Roma children left homeless as a result of domestic conflict in Mukachevo

Дата: 04 November 2015 Автор: Mykola Mirnyj
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Nineteen children from the Roma camp in Mukachevo, Zakarpattia region, Ukraine, have been left under the open sky.

The Human Rights Information Centre correspondent reports this, having talked with the Roma families who came to the office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

After a 18-year-old man was killed during the riots, the indignant crowd robbed and fired the house of the Roma family, whose member was suspected of murder. According to Andriy Horvat, head of the Roma community in Mukachevo “Roma”, three families lived in that house.

21 people lived in the house. They are left homeless now, without clothes. We have 19 children from six months to 11 years old,” he said.

According to him, his family has received death threats from relatives of the murdered guy.

Yes, indeed, the crime was committed. However, the murderer has been already jailed. The perpetrators will be brought to justice. But why should father and grandchildren be responsible for that? We have nowhere to return to. They threaten us with murder and physical violence,” Andriy Horvat says, adding that the children witnessed the fire in the house at night.

He complains about the improper investigation into the arson, the threats from the victim’s family, and the lack of security measures.

Children have been left without schools, kindergartens. They have been deprived of future. The winter is coming, and we are threatened with physical violence,” deputy head of the NGO “Legal Protection” Rudolf Horvat, whose house was also attacked, says.

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Representative of the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Non-discrimination and Gender Equality Aksana Fylypyshyna says to the Human Rights Information Centre that she  failed to talk with the Roma families, whose house had been burnt after the events in the camp.

I was in Mukachevo four days after the event. I met with the human rights activists, the representatives of the Roma community. The man, who resorted to the Commissioner’s Office for the first time on November 4, was not in Mukachevo in then. We were told that the families were forced to leave the city because of the riots and fire in the camp. They are hiding, fearing for their lives,” Aksana Fylypyshyna says.

While talking at the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the families raised the issue of their safety in Mukachevo as they wanted to return home and rebuilt their homes.

“They are embarrassed at the fact that the criminal proceedings were opened over the fact of arson, not in relation to specific people. The Office of the Commissioner will make inquiries to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Interior Minister regarding the intensification in the investigative actions in these cases and ensuring the safety of people who receive death threats,” said Aksana Fylypyshyna.

The parents told the Human Rights Information Center that they do not want to give their children to boarding schools because, according to them, the children have got used to the families.

Representatives of the Commissioner’s Office found the opportunity to settle 19 children in the orphanage, but parents flatly refused.

They categorically rejected the proposal. They said they would solve their living conditions on their own, as they have some friends,” Aksana Fylypyshyna  says.

She adds that children can’t be taken away from their parents and moved to the rehabilitation center or the shelter by force, because the parents are not deprived of parental rights.

Fylypyshyna notes that the Commissioner’s Office is ready to assist in settling children in a social institution if the parents agree to do so at any moment.

The law enforcement officers promised to comment on the accusations of the Roma families towards the local police before November 6.

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