Statement by Minister Joly and Minister Khera on Romani Genocide Remembrance Day

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August 2, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, today issued the following statement:

“Today, on Romani Genocide Remembrance Day, we remember and pay tribute to the more than 500,000 Roma and Sinti children, women and men who were imprisoned, tortured and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators leading up to and during the Second World War. This horrific crime is known in Romani as the Porajmos, meaning “The Devouring,” and the Samudaripen, meaning “The Mass Killing.” It must never be forgotten.

“Romani Genocide Remembrance Day also gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the continued racism, prejudice, violence and persecution of Roma and Sinti populations globally. Canada is working hard to address this and indeed all forms of hatred and intolerance, both at home and around the world. As a member of the Committee on the Genocide of the Roma at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Canada actively supported the development of the IHRA’s working definition for “antigypsyism/anti-Roma discrimination”—a key tool in identifying and countering this particular type of racism.  

“The Genocide of the Roma and current events around the world remind us that we must be vigilant and stand united in the face of prejudice and hate in all its forms. On this solemn day, as we honour the memory of the Roma and Sinti victims of this atrocity, we reaffirm our commitment to protect human rights, to address racism and discrimination, and to promote inclusion and respect for diversity as a proven path to peaceful societies.”

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