International Roma Day is an opportunity for us all to celebrate Romani culture and raise awareness of the issues facing Roma people.
The day, also known as International Romani Day, takes place on 8 April every year after first being declared in 1990. International Roma Day draws attention to discrimination directed at Roma communities globally and calls for the human rights of all to be respected and observed.
European Roma and Sinti (often labelled as ‘Gypsies’) were targeted for complete extermination under the Nazi regime. Historians estimate that between 200,000 and 500,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered or died as a result of starvation or disease, and many were imprisoned and subjected to sterilisation and forced labour. This became known as the Porrajmos, which translates to ‘the Devouring’.
Many of those who survived this period under the Nazis were still subject to persecution after World War Two, as Roma communities have continued to face discrimination and prejudice across Europe in different forms.