Story

Kosovo's Roma People Struggle in Resettlement Camps

April 28, 2009|

1.jpg

1

Roma children stand outside their home in the Chesmin Lug resettlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1511.jpg

1

Feruz Jahirovich hugs his three year old daughter Sara, who suffers from medical problems due to lead, in their home in the Osterrode resettlement camp in North Mitrovica. Photo credit: Darren McCollester/The Washington Times

1512.jpg

1

A Roma boy shows lead that has grown over his teeth in the Osterrode resettlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1513.jpg

1

A Roma woman pushes a baby carriage through sludge in the Chesmin Lug resettlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1514.jpg

1

Roma boys play outside the Osterrode re-settlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1516.jpg

1

A raised former Roma neighborhood, or mahhala, is seen against North Mitrovica, from south Mitrovica in Kosovo.

1518.jpg

1

A Roma boy is seen in the Chesmin Lug resettlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1519.jpg

1

The Chesmin Lug resettlement camp is seen in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1520.jpg

1

Lead painted walls are seen beside a drinking spicket, bathtub, and clothes cleaning area in the Chesmin Lug resettlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1521.jpg

1

A slag heap of toxic waste from the Trephca smelting plant is seen over the the Chesmin Lug resettlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

1522.jpg

1

A slag heap of toxic waste from the Trepcha smelting plant is seen just outside the Chesmin Lug resettlement camp in North Mitrovica, Kosovo.

last.jpg

1

Chesmin Lug resettlement camp leader Latif Masurica speaks with European Union Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg (2nd from R) in the Chesmin Lug camp in North Mitrovica.

In 1999 following the NATO led bombing in the Kosovo region, the United Nations built resettlement camps for one of the wars overlooked people, the Roma. Two of these camps were built next to a toxic slagheap of 100 million tons of lead runoff. The hurriedly constructed barracks were also built with old painted lead boards. Today, ten years later, the people of Chesmin Lug and Osterrode camps continue to struggle with life and health.

Unless otherwise noted, photos and text credited to: Darren McCollester / Pulitzer Center