International Roma Day
In his message on the occasion of International Roma Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres recalled the horrors of the Holocaust, stating that “Roma have faced, for centuries, discrimination, rejection, social exclusion and marginalization all over the world and in all areas of life”. He also highlighted that: “The United Nations is strongly committed to working together with Roma civil society and other partners in strengthening the protection of human rights and freedoms. We stand with you and all Romani women, Romani LGBTI people, Roma from minority religious communities, and with all Roma who stand up to combat multiple forms of discrimination, including stereotyping and hate speech. We will continue to speak out against anti-Gypsyism and support efforts to secure the genuine inclusion of Roma in societies across the globe.”
On the occasion of the International Roma Day, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated in the international Conference ”Roma Youth – together for emancipation and empowerment – the role of history in the participation and inclusion of Roma Young people”. The event took place over three days, April 7, 8 and 9, 2021, in celebration of the International Roma Day and the 50th anniversary of the First World Congress of Roma held in 1971 in United Kingdom. It promoted the cultural diversity of the Roma involving young people and youth organizations, bringing together Roma and non-Roma stakeholders in the youth and human rights fields. It aimed at strengthening the knowledge of Roma and Traveller history, culture and identity as a factor enhancing social inclusion and participation of Roma youth. The Conference was organized by Youth Department and Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe in the framework of the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers the Council of Europe.
One of the main objectives of the conference was to strengthen knowledge about the history, culture and identity of Roma and Nomads based on the idea that a better knowledge of their culture and history can contribute to a climate of tolerance and understanding of diversity, social inclusion and the participation of young Roma everywhere in community life.
On the occasion of the International Roma Day, on the second day of the Conference the Youth Statement was presented, from which we quote:
We acknowledge the efforts of the Council of Europe and its Youth Department towards Roma youth emancipation and empowerment, active youth participation and in combating antigypsyism. We especially welcome the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the inclusion of the history of Roma and Travellers in school curricula and teaching materials and the preparation of a future recommendation on Roma youth participation. Roma arts and culture play a central role in restoring Roma dignity and challenging the predominantly negative image of Roma people among the majority (…) We take pride on our history, arts and culture; their diversity enriches our communities and our societies. We want Roma youth to have access to their own culture and have tools to enjoy and promote their cultural identity, history and dignity.
The Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated in the working groups on education for fundamental rights and freedoms, highlighting its role in promoting a culture of human rights, as well as in the field of research regarding the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups. The major problems faced by the Roma population, the role and benefit of education in shaping the personality of children and young people were analyzed, identifying concrete priorities for Roma integration at national and European level.
Participants from Romania: Ionuț-Marian Ionescu, Praxis Greece; Oana Bajka, A, Intercultural Institute Timisoara, The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Right; Mădălin Bolozan, Partida Romilor ProEuropa Association; Lulache Mariana, Educational Center for Resources, Training, Integration and Development Association; Herki Norina Elvira, Resource Center for Roma Communities Foundation; Daniela Albu, Romanian Institute for Human Rights; Ana Maria Ciobanu, Media DoR Association; Oana Gerogiana Coman, Partida Romilor.
The conference was also prepared and implemented in co-operation with the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and in close association with Ternype, the European Roma Grass Roots Organisations Network, Phiren Amenca and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.
Conference programme https://rm.coe.int/ryc-programme-2021/1680a1fafc
Participants list https://rm.coe.int/draft-list-of-pax-ryc-2021-rev-8/1680a20ae9