Acting at the national and international level, the Central Council seeks to achieve the following goals: to continuously raise awareness of the Holocaust of Sinti and Roma; to see Antigypsyism acknowledged as a specific form of racism and condemned in all of Europe, given Europe’s responsibility to history. And in doing so, to safeguard the rights of minorities, to assure anti-discrimination protection, and to ensure the participation of the minority.
In view of the crime against civilisation that is the Holocaust of the Sinti and Roma and the Jews, we must take the dangers of Antigypsyism as seriously as the dangers of anti-Semitism, and we must adopt appropriate measures in order to deal with them. Antigypsyist ways of thinking are deeply rooted in European cultural history. To this day, they continue to influence the actions of people and institutions – and it will take a long time to change this. Germany and many other European countries have been consequent in outlawing Anti-Semitism. Antigypsyism, however, receives little attention or sensitivity from policy makers and the media.
The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) of the Council of Europe, and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages are international milestones of the civil rights movement. As a consequence of the FCNM, Sinti and Roma were officially recognised as a national minority in Germany in 1997. Another important achievement is the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 15 April 2015, recognizing the genocide of the Sinti and Roma and acknowledging Antigypsyism as a specific form of racism.
The Central Council has joined forces with other civil society organisations (Amnesty International, ENAR, ERGO, FSG, OSF, ERRC) and formed a stronger advocacy coalition with the goal of deepening the substantial understanding and further strengthening the institutional recognition of Antigypsyism. The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma co-founded the international “Alliance against Antigypsyism” and published the “Reference Paper on Antigypsyism” with that goal in mind.
Furthermore, the Central Council works closely together with the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI), which was established for the first time in January 2016. ARDI also has formed an Antigypsyism Working Group under the leadership of Swedish MEP Soraya Post. Beyond that, the Central Council continuously strengthens international civil society alliances with (pro) Sinti/Roma organisations that advocate the same interests and political goals.
Current international projects and priorities
Condemning and combating Antigypsyism
Monitoring the EU framework strategy
Initiatives to combat the causes of flight
Stopping the unlawful forced evictions and displacement by government agencies
Racist election campaigns
Cultural participation: the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture
Award ceremony of the European Civil Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma in the European Parliament
Cooperation with international organisations
The European Commission
The European Parliament
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
The Council of Europe
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
International civil society