International Roma Day: 'Now, more than ever, anti-Gypsyism must be fought'

On the occasion of the International Roma Day, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination adopted the following declaration:

“International Roma Day, 8 April, is a day for celebrating the culture and identity of Roma and Travellers throughout the continent.

Yet in 2019, there are at least as many causes for concern as for celebration on this important occasion. Despite the enactment of anti-discrimination laws and the adoption of inclusion strategies to advance the social rights of Roma in most Council of Europe member States, marginalisation, exclusion, inequality and prejudice remain the reality of far too many Roma and Travellers.

Hate speech against Roma and Travellers flourishes in the media as well as online; leading politicians collectively stigmatise Roma and Travellers and blame them for society’s ills; and violent attacks against Roma and Traveller communities appear to be on the rise.

There is no room for complacency. As they acknowledge and celebrate Roma and Traveller’s contribution to the richness and diversity of European culture, member States must urgently step up their efforts to combat the scourge of anti-Gypsyism in all its forms. For it is only when prejudice and discrimination are overcome that equality can become a reality for all.”