France

French Official Tells Roma to Return to Their Homelands

More than 10,000 have been evicted from camps this year

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France's treatment of thousands of Roma migrants who have been expelled to Eastern Europe came under new scrutiny Wednesday from the European Commission and a leading rights group, after France's top security official said the migrants had a "duty to return to their homeland."

Amnesty International said more than 10,000 Roma, also known as Gypsies, had been evicted from French squatter camps from January through August, with many forced to return home to Romania and Bulgaria, despite European Union rules requiring free movement for all EU citizens.

Many Roma in France live in makeshift camps set up on vacant lots, lacking running water or electricity. Without regular documentation of their residence, they have a hard time enrolling children into school, applying for subsidized housing, getting health care through the national system or finding permanent work.

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