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Roma were evicted twice from their settlement nearby Oslo, Norway

In July 2012, a 200-people group composed mainly of Roma settled in an abandoned quarry nearby Oslo, in Norway, since they had been evicted or expulsed from other settling places.


On the 14th of July 2012, a 200-people group composed mainly of Roma settled in an abandoned gravel mine, nearby Oslo, Norway [1, 2, 6, 9]. Previously to that, the residents of the quarry had to leave the Sofienberg Church grounds by the 9th of July after months of police harassment [1, 2, 6, 7]. This was later named the Årvoll case. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Roma were evicted twice from their settlement nearby Oslo, Norway
State or province:Oslomarka
Location of conflict:Oslo
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Sand, gravel
Axinite-(Mn), Bustamite, Fluorapophyllite-(K), Grossular, Molybdenite, Scheelite, Vesuvianite
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:200 people
Start of the conflict:09/07/2012
End of the conflict:20/07/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Årvoll Eiendom AS - Owner of the plot
Relevant government actors:Police
Representatives from the district of Bjerke and the Health Administration in Oslo
The Prime Minister of Norway in 2012
Oslo’s deputy mayor
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Folk er Folk (People are People)
Sofienberg Church members
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Other Environmental impacts, Noise pollution, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:When the time came to take responsibility and try to find solutions there were several proposals: give jobs to the Roma so that they could rent apartments, deport them, provide cheap overnight accommodation, introduce labor market measures to help them out, etc. [1, 6]. Of all these measures none have been reported as effectively implemented towards the Roma community that settled in the quarry.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Not only the Roma were settled in a quarry but they were also displaced a few days later, amidst a general environment of hate speech and threats.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[11] Runa Falck (2020). Discrimination against Roma: Evidence from two survey experiments in Norway, Migration Studies.
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[12] Nicolay B. Johansen (2015). Controlling Roma in Norway 1: Governing through the administration of social distance in Punishing the Other (Ed. Anna Eriksson).
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[3] The Nordic Page – Norway (2012). Attack on Roma Camp in Oslo with Fireworks and Stones.
[click to view]

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[5] NTB/The Local (2012). Landowner calls for Roma camp evacuation.
[click to view]

[2] The Nordic Page – Norway (2012). Oslo Municipality Closes Romani Camp in Årvoll.
[click to view]

[7] Byggeindustrien digitalt (2012). Romfolk-leiren i Oslo avvikles.
[click to view]

[1] Nina Berglund (2012). Roma campers land in new conflict.
[click to view]

[6] NTB/The Local (2012). Stoltenberg saddened by insults aimed at Roma.
[click to view]

[8] NTB/The Local (2012). Owners agree to shut down Roma camp.
[click to view]

[9] (n.d.). Årvoll Quarry (Stig), Oslomarka, Oslo, Norway.
[click to view]

[10] Hanne Mellingsæter (2012). Ny debatt etter salg av rom-tomten på Årvoll.
[click to view]

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Meta information
Contributor:Berta Roset Pérez, Junior researcher in Environmental Justice ICTA-UAB. Contact email: [email protected]
Last update10/06/2021
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