UN human rights chief calls on France, Bulgaria to stop forcible evictions of Roma

The U.N.'s top human rights official is urging France and Bulgaria to stop forcible evictions of Roma from their camps.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein warned that authorities in France appear to be making such evictions "systematic national policy" since 2012, noting the eviction last month of more than 150 inhabitants of a shantytown in the Paris suburb of La Courneuve.

In the same statement Friday, Zeid said authorities in Bulgaria this week made homeless 41 people — more than half of them children — in the town of Gurmen.

Zeid's office has regularly highlighted and criticized evictions of Roma, or Gypsies, across Europe in recent years, in countries also including Albania, the Czech republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Britain.