ERTF: We are Roma - this is what we are
We mark International Roma day by celebrating the rich Romani culture and the diverse contributions of Roma to our societies. On this day, the Roma can stand up and proudly say “We are Roma: this is what we are.”
It is however, also on this day that we recall the constant rejection of the Roma in all countries and in all walks of life. The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) expresses its strong solidarity with all those Roma who still experience extreme poverty, miserable conditions, fear and discrimination in their daily lives. Current conditions are an affront to human dignity everywhere.
Roma continue to face wide-ranging discrimination in access to education, employment, housing, and healthcare. In recent years, the global economic crisis has slowed down progress in addressing these challenges and led to an increase of anti-Gypsyism, often expressed through violent attacks of the Roma communities. The walling off of some Roma villages from neighbouring areas and the eviction of entire communities of Roma families from their homes vividly illustrates their exclusion and isolation. We cannot ignore these deeply troubling developments. No country can meet 21st century challenges with a large segment of its population discriminated, intimidated and excluded.Europe seems to have forgotten the central lesson of the past century – Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We take this occasion to pay tribute to those who have fought, and continue to fight – despite the hardship and sacrifice involved – for equality and the right of all people to live with respect and dignity. The struggle to break down the prejudices towards Roma and to eliminate discrimination is essential to the struggle for social justice and a better world, which is the responsibility of us all.
The ERTF calls upon all Council of Europe member states to honour their legally and politically binding obligations and commitments to secure equal opportunities and support for the Roma community. We encourage all states which have not yet done so, to ratify all these legally and politically binding documents as soon as possible and to resist the appeal of anti-Gypsy ideas and policies.
There are enormous challenges ahead in the quest for equal opportunities for
all – from achieving more effective coordination and mobilisation of resources
at the international level, to building better capacity at the national and
local levels. All of us can play a part in raising awareness of these challenges;
all of us can play our part in overcoming them.
We call on all the Roma to express openly their pride in being Roma, pride in their culture, their language and in their traditions; to stand up fearlessly against marginalisation and humiliation and claim loudly their right to be treated as equal citizens in the country they live in.
- Araceli Cañadas Ortega: Romani women are the roots that feed our communities with care and love
- EU Commissioners greet the Roma on International Romani Day
- KHAMORO World Romani Festival marks International Romani Day with online anthem performance
- Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights on International Romani Day: Segregated schools are the shame of our country
- Czech Govt Human Rights Commissioner thanks Roma for their aid during COVID-19 and wishes them well on International Romani Day
- Romani and non-Romani figures from the Czech Republic send greetings on International Romani Day: But bacht the sasťipen!
- Slovak President greets Romani people for International Romani Day: Paľikerav tumenge. Džanav mištes hoj jekhetane koda keraha
- Coronavirus: Three Lessons for International Roma Day
- Today International Romani Day celebrated worldwide to mark the beginning of the Romani movement
- Czech Republic's International Romani Day celebrations online: ARA ART holds gala evening "From One Living Room to Another"
- European Roma and Travellers Forum President makes statement about COVID-19 pandemic, thanks health care professionals
- Czech Republic declares state of emergency over coronavirus pandemic, International Romani Day celebrations postponed