Chair of the Czech Pirates: Let's not trip the Roma up, let's treat them with the dignity they deserve, as equals
"Romani people's efforts will succeed as long as we don't trip them up and treat them with the dignity they deserve as equal partners in the discussion," said the chair of the Pirate Party in the Czech Republic, Ivan Bartoš, on the occasion of World Roma Day today. In his statement, the chair recalled that many Romani people experience discrimination on a daily basis.
"Today is the 50th anniversary of the global commemoration of International Romani Day. I am grateful to my many brilliant Romani friends and to the active people who are helping make our country a better place to live, irrespective of the fact that many of them have experienced and are experiencing discrimination, whether in education or other areas of life. How many times have we heard or witnessed the fact that Romani children have been automatically recommended to attend the 'special', segregated schools? How many times have we seen offers of housing or jobs that Romani people automatically had no chance of accessing - and still do not - purely because of their origin?" asked Bartoš, who has put a frame with a Romani flag on his Facebook profile today.
"Life unfortunately is showing us that emancipation and the drive for dignity and equality never comes from the majority, but that the minority has to conquer it on their own, through long-term effort. We see that this is possible in everyday life. For example, in Ostrava, segregated schools have managed to be all but shut down thanks to the fantastic assistants from the Romani community who helped inform Romani families of the fact that all Romani children are already entitled to attend regular schools. Where there's a will, there's a way," the Pirate chair said.
Romani people all over the globe mark World Roma Day on 8 April. This year marks 50 years since the important day on which the historic first-ever World Roma Congress was held in Orpington near London in 1971 in the United Kingdom.
That meeting laid the foundations for the international collaborations to come among Romani people and the movement attained an international sociopolitical dimension. Romani people annually commemorate their common culture, language and origin, their shared collaborations and unification, and above all their Romipen ("Romani-ness").
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