The case under consideration in the present brief notes relates both to the legal consequences of the relocation, decided by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), of individuals of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian ethnicity (RAE) in camps for Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and to the health impact provoked by that relocation. IDPs camps for RAE were set up in the Northern area of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica, a town divided by the river Ibar in two parts, one Serbian, the other Albanian. This area is close to Trepca, an industrial giant for the processing of lead, 320 km south of the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Ground of the unwise decision by the United Nations to set up refugee camps in an area of overt environmental risk dates back to 21 June 1999, when the Roma district Mahala, seat of the largest Roma community in Kosovo, with approximately 1000 dwellings housing 8000 people, was looted and burned by some members of the Albanian ethnic armed group, the Kosovo Liberation Army. Since September 1999, UNMIK has re-settled around 600/700 RAE individuals, about the half of which under the age of 14, in two camps – Zhikoc/Žitkovac and Cesminluke/Česmin Lug – to cope with the urgent need for provisionally relocating the refugees in an area where they could be rescued from the violence of the Albanians who considered the RAE allies of the Serbs. Although at the beginning the fields were meant to be operational only for a short time, to the limited scope to face the coming winter, three additional fields were set up later in the same area: Leposaviq/Leposavić at the end of 1999, Kablare/Kablar in 2001 and Osterode in 2006. The present analysis shall be based on the Opinion made on 26 February 2016 6 by the Human Rights Advisory Panel in Kosovo, in the affair “N. M. and Others v. UNMIK”, an opinion issued almost eight years after 138 complainants, all Roma victims of lead poisoning, had filed a claim in July 2008. First of all, we will expose the factual and legal elements which led the Advisory Panel to recommend to UNMIK, in addition to official apologies, to compensate for material and moral damages suffered by the applicants. Secondly, we will face with the decision of the Secretary General of the United Nations, who announced, in May 2017, the creation of a Trust Fund ‘as an exceptional measure’ (sic), aimed at financing assistance projects on account of the RAE communities, especially for health services, economic development and infrastructure. Finally, we will consider the latest disappointing developments in the affair.
|Titolo:||Chronicle of a Death Foretold: The Long-Term Health Impacts on the Victims of Widespread Lead Poisoning at UN-Run Camps in Kosovo|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Contributo in volume (capitolo o saggio)|