According to research conducted by the ERRC and the Roma and Ashkalia Documentation Centre (RADC) on the situation of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians returned to Kosovo from Western European  countries, little to no support is available to help persons forced to go back to Kosovo resettle.

The ERRC and RADC interviewed Mr B.B., a 65-year-old father of 3, who along with his family was forcibly repatriated from Germany in 2002. After 5 years, Mr B.’s family has no source of income they continue to live in an old and deteriorating shelter in the municipality of Istog, in the Peja region.

Another returnee, Mr D.K. and 4 members of his 8 member family were returned to Kosovo on 11 December 2007 after having lived in Germany for 17 years. Mr K. and his family were returned to the village of Cerrc where they lived before the war, but during the Kosovo conflict, their home was destroyed.

The situation of RAE returnees in Kosovo is particularly worrying in light of Kosovo’s recent declaration of independence and the expected flood of Romani, Ashkali and Egyptian asylum seekers back to Kosovo as Western European governments take the opportunity to deport RAE in their countries. Kosovo authorities are clearly unable to cope with those RAE already returned, and many of those RAE in Kosovo have found themselves without any real support and living in desperate conditions.

According to information published by the Kosovo Roma Website (KRW) on 10 December 2007, the German green party and the refugee organisation Pro Asyl asked the German government for a six month moratorium on forced repatriations to Kosovo. KRW quoted Germany Green Party leader Claudia Roth as having declared that people belonging to ethnic minorities are particularly affected by the lack of stability. Director of Pro Asyl, Günther Burkardt, stated that there are currently some 23,000 Kosovo Roma in Germany. (ERRC, KRW, RADC)

Source: ERRC Roma Rights Quarterly 4/2007