IHRA President's Statement on the Working Definition of Anti-Roma Racism


The 2020 IHRA Ministerial Declaration emphasized the importance of remembering the genocide of the Roma and acknowledging the impact that the neglect of this genocide has had on the continued marginalization and widespread discrimination of Roma communities.

Three years ago, the need for a working definition of anti-Roma racism as a useful tool to help guide the IHRA in its work became overwhelmingly clear. Today’s coronavirus pandemic, which has fanned the flames of anti-Roma racism, has made the adoption of such a definition all the more urgent. 

Over the last three years the experts in the Committee on the Genocide of the Roma have deliberated and consulted with Roma representatives and communities, as well as IHRA Working Group and Committee Chairs to develop the draft presented to IHRA Member Countries at the 2020 Berlin Plenary session. 

Following the fruitful discussions at the Plenary session, we now find ourselves in the final phase of this process. The adoption of a working definition on anti-Roma racism has been a priority of the German Presidency and I thank the experts for their excellent work. The working definition has received overwhelming support and I am confident that the IHRA will adopt a non-legally binding working definition in due course and prior to the Leipzig Plenary in December.

The IHRA recognizes the responsibility of societies as a whole to remember the genocide of the Roma and to combat anti-Roma racism. The adoption of this working definition will contribute significantly to furthering this essential work.