Confronting antigypsyism is the responsibility of the mainstream society
On 6 September 2016, ERGO Network was present at a high level event hosted by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, co-organized with ODIHR, the Council of Europe and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. It brought together more than 130 participants, including members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and of national parliaments, along with high-ranking governmental representatives, civil society representatives, and other relevant stakeholders in the fight against antigypsyism.
“In order to put an end to the common practices of the antigypsyism, there is a strong need to mobilize the support of civil society. Civil society needs to monitor the hate speech, the discrimination and give grassroots organizations the tools to address and fight antigypsyism at the local level” said Gabriela Hrabanova the Deputy Director of ERGO Network. In support of those arguments, ERGO presented the reference paper of the Alliance Against Antigypsyism.
The conference underlined the common voice of the international community to address the continued discrimination caused by this specific form of racism against Roma and Sinti within the current challenging regional political context across Europe. All the speakers stressed the need to strengthen alliances among stakeholders, including the civil society, and to build a firm stand of political leaders against antigypsyism. “It is high time that political leaders, political groups and institutions at national and European levels take a strong stand against antigypsyism as the root cause of the social exclusion of Roma,” said Soraya Post, Swedish Member of the European Parliament and Co-President of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI). She continued: “Until this specific form of racism is systematically addressed, the success of actions in other policy areas will be limited.”