April 8, 2009
April 8th marks International Roma Day. International Roma Day was introduced in 1990 to commemorate the first-ever international gathering of Roma representatives in London in 1971. It was envisioned as the day to celebrate the cultural achievements and positive contributions of Roma and raise awareness of their continued struggle. In recent years, the day has been marked by events and celebrations across Europe, and by dignitaries including the late Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama.
Roma are the largest minority in Europe and number an estimated 15 million worldwide. Romani individuals and communities often face violence, police brutality and systematic discrimination in education, employment, and housing. The United States views the persecution of Roma as a continuing problem and is committed to protecting and promoting their human rights.
The United States calls on all governments to put an end to the human rights abuses faced by the Romani minorities within their borders. We encourage all those who value democratic principles to stand up against all forms of intolerance and hatred towards minorities, including Roma, and to work to create tolerant and pluralistic societies.
Watch this video to see Hilary Clinton talk about Roma day