Slide Amnesty International UK / Media Awards AWARD CATEGORIES

Lithuania’s Roma struggle to find new homes after mass eviction

Giedre Peseckyte – University of Bolton

Synopsis:

At a time when the EU is supposedly taking a stance to tackle racism, particularly antigypsyism, through its new ‘Action Plan’ – the rights of Lithuania’s small but equally vulnerable Roma population are being ignored. Demolitions of Romani homes in Vilnius are a local manifestation of a continental problem of discrimination against Roma. The eviction of segregated communities, without addressing the root causes of their exclusion, is an action that can be seen played by governments and municipalities all across the Union. This is a long read feature story about Roma families that were forced to leave the settlement in Vilnius, Lithuania, due to evictions. The settlement has been home for several Roma generations. The story comes together with photos of the families and the area of the former settlement.

Impact:

The story addresses the incompetence of the local municipality, the attitude of the authorities (police, municipality, Construction inspectorate) towards the ethnic minority. Additionally, it challenges the stereotypical thinking about the Roma community. The experts interviewed for this piece are all female, to fight the gender imbalance within the media. The article has reached a broad audience not only internationally, but also in Lithuania, as it has been published in local media (https://nara.lt/lt/articles-lt/palikti-namus-nugriauto-taboro-seimu-istorijos).

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