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8 April, International Roma Day 2024 [editar]


8 April, International Roma Day 2024

Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) joins in the celebration of 8 April, International Roma Day, a day to show pride in being Roma and to demand the right to recognition and equality.

The celebration of 8 April recalls the history of Roma People and pays tribute to the Roma victims of the various persecutions throughout the centuries. A celebration that commemorates the 1st World Roma Congress, held in London in 1971, where the flag (blue and green, with a red wheel) and the hymn Gelem, Gelem were adopted as their own symbols.

The International Roma Day is the time to commit ourselves as a society, as a country, to the full equality of Roma. This equality is based on the recognition of diversity and the value of their own cultural identity, which is part of our shared history and culture.

Despite progress, many Roma continue to lag behind and at a great distance from the rest of society in the enjoyment of fundamental rights such as decent employment, quality education, decent housing and the right not to be discriminated against. The institutional recognition of the Roma people, but also the guarantee of equal opportunities and equal treatment for Roma, must be an effective commitment of the public authorities.

Fundación Secretariado Gitano takes advantage of this date to launch advertising pieces to raise social awareness and highlight Roma culture. This year, we have produced a poster and an short video for social networks, based on the communication action "Get to know us. Roma people are still the great unknown. Let's start in the classroom", starring a young Roma in a classroom, the setting for a photo shoot with Roma children by photographer Ana Palma.

With this awareness-raising action we want to make visible the lack of knowledge about the Roma people, their history and their culture. A lack of knowledge that is the basis of stereotypes, prejudices and a bad social image, which in many cases leads to rejection, discrimination and antigypsyism. To combat this lack of knowledge we propose to start working in the classroom and, specifically, on the basis of the school curriculum. In fact, the current Spanish Education Law (Lomloe) includes this mandate to educational administrations. Extensive materials have been developed for their incorporation into the curriculum, but in practice, they are not yet widely implemented. Knowledge of the Roma people is still absent from the classroom. Children in primary and secondary education are still unaware of Roma history and do not have positive Roma references who, throughout history, have contributed to science, the arts, sport, etc.

With this awareness-raising action, we are calling for the incorporation of Roma history and culture in the classroom to become a reality and become generalised as a first step towards combating ignorance.

On the occasion of 8 April, Fundación Secretariado Gitano is also disseminating a statement prepared by the Roma Participation Group, in which this year it points out that " we cannot forget our ancestors who have been victims of the most atrocious persecutions such as the Great Round-up, the attempted extermination of Spanish Roma in 1749, or the Samudaripen, the Roma holocaust on Europe in the 20th century, which this year commemorates its 80th anniversary". And it ends with "Get to know us, because to know is to share and to live together. Get to know us and share with us this day, when we proudly celebrate our Romipen, our Roma identity."

Institutional events 2024

The celebration of 8 April includes different events at local, regional, national and international level, among which we highlight:

Fundación Secretariado Gitano publicly disseminates a statement and awareness-raising pieces on its own channels and social networks on 8 April; as well as a video greeting from her director general, Sara Giménez.

  • On 8 April, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Fundación Secretariado Gitano is holding an event at its headquarters in Madrid to pay tribute to Roma victims and celebrate the pride of being Roma, aimed at people who work at the organisation and participants in its programmes. It is being replicated in other FSG’s offices.
  • The Ministry of Social Rights, Consumer Affairs and Agenda 2030 together with the Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano, is organising an Institutional event – the River Ceremony on 8 April in Madrid.
  • The Minister for Youth and Children, Sira Rego, receives a delegation from FSG headed by the director Sara Giménez and a group of Roma children and young people. At the Ministry's headquarters. 8 April in the afternoon.
  • The Roma Culture Institute Awards Ceremony will take place on 8 April in the Auditorio Caja de Música at the Centro Centro in the Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid, at 20:00h.
  • As in previous editions, Romani Week in Brussels is organised with the financial support of the European Parliament and the European Commission, and the organisation of the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. MEPs from various political groups active in the struggle for recognition, equality and the fight against discrimination of the Roma people are involved in the implementation and organisation of the week.