Italy : Assistance in Roman Gypsy Camps
20 October 1999
MSF is trying find ways to combat the marginalisation of the camp population which live in poverty and isolation and are caught in a spiral of sickness, unemployment, drugs, violence and prostitution. The team is also trying to help the community take responsibility for their camp and to manage it more effectively.
MSF's mobile team provides consultations three times a week. Ante-natal care is provided to pregnant women. Families receive regular medical visits. MSF is also training social and health care assistants and gathering epidemiological information. Upgrading the deplorable hygiene conditions is a priority for MSF. Since the project started in September 1996 - MSF provides logistical assistance in order to improve the hygienic conditions in the camp (installation of cisterns, construction of latrines and sceptic tanks).
MSF also provides social and legal assistance to the camp dwellers, who need to put their papers in order or to the mainly Bosnian refugees who wish to apply for temporary resident permits. MSF lobbies on behalf of the residents of Casalino 700. It has taken a stand against the police authorities' habit of regularly evicting sizeable portions of the camp population. MSF is also asking for explanations for why the city authorities have decided to move the camp in June 1999.