European Network Against Racism

Tomorrow, 8 April, the world celebrates International Roma Day[1]. The European Roma Policy Coalition (ERPC)[2] is taking an active part in these celebrations and highlights on this occasion the important cultural diversity which the Roma, Sinti and Traveller communities bring to the European Union.

But these celebrations are also an opportunity to remind citizens and policy makers of the discrimination and disadvantage which Europe’s largest minority faces on a daily basis. An estimated 7-9 million Roma live in EU member states but to date there is no integrated and comprehensive EU policy specifically targeting discrimination against Roma. Commission officials have acknowledged that “social exclusion and discrimination of Roma communities are well documented and despite all available legislative and financial instruments remain often extreme”. However, these words have not been matched by effective action and change.

The European Roma Policy Coalition therefore urges the European Union to adopt a Framework Strategy on Roma Inclusion, developed in full consultation with Roma communities. This strategy should ensure that Roma communities are protected from discrimination, have equal access to education, healthcare and housing, and are empowered through participation in the civic and economic life of the country.

David Mark, the coalition coordinator, said:“Celebrating the cultural diversity of the Roma community is all the more relevant as this year is European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The EU must now ensure that its emphasis on cultural diversity is matched by strong and effective action to ensure the economic and social inclusion of Roma, Sinti and Travellers into European societies and protect them from discrimination.”

[1] Established in 1971, International Roma Day celebrates a community dispersed throughout
Europe, facing enormous economic, social and political challenges.

[2] The European Roma Policy Coalition, launched on 6 March 2008, is a network of national and international NGOs working on different aspects of discrimination against Roma people which calls for the full realisation of the economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights of Roma. The member organisations are: Amnesty International, European Network Against Racism, European Roma Grassroots Organisation, European Roma Information Office, European Roma Rights Centre, Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Minority Rights Group International, Open Society Institute and Spolu International Foundation.
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  1. Sinti (as well as Cale and Romanichals) are not Roma, but are Romanies. Travellers are neither. I feel as though the misuse of the word Roma is perhaps deliberate, because it is not any more trouble to use the word correctly. I will always refer to day as International Romani Day and encourage everyone else to do the same. Not all Romanies are Roma!

  2. Well, to soon to say if it’s good, but at least it’s well designed.
    I mean I thought I would be blocked after adding some interests, but the site helps you to add more.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘1055386704 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. Hello,

    My name is Claire Lesikar and I’m writing to you because I know your site covers the Roma. I wanted to let you know about discrimination against the Roma in Romania, a case Amnesty International will be featuring in its upcoming Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon, an annual letter-writing action timed around International Human Rights Day, December 10. This year’s Write for Rights runs from Dec. 4 to 12.

    We thought your readers might be interested in the case of discrimination against the Roma in Romania, in particular the forcible eviction of 100 Roma from their homes in Miercurea Ciuc in central Romania. To take action on the case of discrimination against the Roma in Romania and all of our Write for Rights cases, readers can visit: There they’ll find case information, action suggestions, blog badges, a map of Write for Rights events across the United States, resources to help people organize their own events, letter-writing tips and more.

    We’re also encouraging people to share blog posts about these cases and connect with other bloggers in support of Write for Rights by going to the Write for Rights event page on Bloggers Unite:

    Thanks for supporting work on behalf of the Roma and human rights everywhere. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Claire Lesikar

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