April 20 2016 —FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Romanipe strongly condemns the two recent attacks on Roma ethnic minorities in Croatia and Bulgaria. Last week in Bulgaria a young Romani man was beaten because he declared himself equal to a non-Roma man who threatened him. Yesterday, a kindergarten for Roma children on the premises of a Roma community in Zagreb was the victim of a bomb attack.
Unfortunately, these events are not isolated ; rather, they reflect the ongoing racism experienced by Roma communities on a daily basis throughout Europe. Romanipe would like to express its concern over the occurrence of these racially motivated attacks, which continue to occur despite national and international measures adopted by EU member states to counter antigypsyism.
We expect respective authorities to effectively and promptly investigate these attacks against Roma namely by examining any alleged discriminatory motives that may have prompted them, and by taking concrete steps to ensure that such events are not repeated in the future.
The rise of extremist movements promoting Anti-Roma rhetoric have caused many Roma to seek refuge in Canada in order to avoid the violence lived in Europe. Unfortunately, even in Canada, Roma have not been able to escape discrimination. Under the previous government, Roma were depicted as “bogus refugees” underserving of protection in Canada, resulting in the adoption of several legislative and policy measures aiming to restrict the acceptance of Roma claimants in the country.
We therefore take this opportunity to reiterate our request to the Canadian government to recognize the current discrimination faced by Roma populations in Europe and to call on national governments in the EU to take concrete measures to eradicate anti-Roma persecution. Secondly, we call upon the Canadian government to eliminate the Designated Countries of Origin regime in the refugee determination system.
Finally, we ask the international community and relevant stakeholders to implement the measures necessary for combatting anti-gypsism and discrimination against Roma, and to continue to bring international attention to their plight.