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Rights groups protest as Roma families are rehoused in Romanian industrial facility

Andrei Pungovschi / AFP - Getty Images

A Roma boy climbs on the top of a ramshackle house, torn down by local authorities, in Craica, a shantytown on the outskirts of Baia Mare, Romania. All pictures taken on June 14, 2012 and made available on June 19.

Human rights groups have accused authorities in a Romanian town of violating legislation and trampling on the dignity of Roma gypsy inhabitants by forcibly evicting hundreds of them and relocating them to a chemical plant closed down over pollution concerns. 

Authorities in Baia Mare began moving dozens of families in May from poor neighborhoods where they had lived in 20-year-old improvised buildings with no water, sewage or power supplies.

Amnesty International expressed concern following local media reports that 22 children and 2 adults had become ill after they were rehoused in the former industrial facility.

The vast majority of Romanian Roma live on the margins of society in abject poverty and pro-democracy groups say the state does not do enough to prevent discrimination.

-- Agence France Presse and Reuters contributed to this report

Andrei Pungovschi / AFP - Getty Images

Roma children play outside a former Cuprom chemical plant turned into a housing project in Baia Mare.

Andrei Pungovschi / AFP - Getty Images

A bulldozer prepares to tear down a ramshackle house in Craica.

Andrei Pungovschi / AFP - Getty Images

A Roma child sits on a couch in Craica.

Andrei Pungovschi / AFP - Getty Images

Roma people go through waste debris looking for useful materials, after several ramshackle houses were torn down by local authorities in Craica.

Andrei Pungovschi / AFP - Getty Images

A Roma man looks on as authorities prepare to tear down houses in Craica.

Andrei Pungovschi / AFP - Getty Images

A Roma child sleeps in a ramshackle house in Craica.