Snezana Samardzic-Markovic, Director General of the Council of Europe's Directorate of Democracy and Gheorghe Raducanu, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum

STRASBOURG, 31 July 2015 - Today the Council of Europe observed one minute of silence to mark the 71st anniversary and to pay homage to the victims of the genocide committed against Roma during the Second World War.

The Roma nation commemorates this tragedy on August 2–the date when, in 1944, over 3 000 Roma were exterminated in gas chamber V of ''Zigeunerlager BIII'' at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

It is not known precisely how many Roma were killed in the genocide, but historians... Read more

Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), speaking at the opening of the OSCE "Conference on Enhancing Efforts to Prevent and Combat Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, Focusing on Hate Crimes, Exclusion, Marginalization and Denial of Rights", Vienna, 18 May 2015

WARSAW, 31 July 2015 – Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), called today on OSCE participating States to focus on teaching youth about the Roma and Sinti genocide, in order to combat current forms of racism and discrimination against Roma and Sinti. The statement came ahead of Sunday’s 71st anniversary of the “Zigeunerlager”, or “Gypsy Camp”, liquidation at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“Seventy-one years after the liquidation of the ‘Zigeunerlager’, Roma and Sinti continue to face racism and discrimination,” Link said. “Through... Read more

Parliament called for more efforts to end discrimination, hate crime and hate speech against Roma people and for 2 August to be recognised as Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, to commemorate the Roma genocide in World War II, in a resolution passed on Wednesday.

In the resolution MEPs express their "deep concern at the rise of anti-Gypsyism, as manifested inter alia through anti-Roma rhetoric and violent attacks against Roma in Europe".

Anti-Gypsyism is "incompatible with the norms and values of the European Union" and "constitutes a major obstacle to the... Read more