On 1st June 2022, the regional research report on The Roma Holocaust/Roma Genocide in Southeastern Europe: Between Oblivion, Acknowledgment, and Distortion was launched.
The research covers 11 Southeastern European countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia and was supported inter alia by the Council of Europe/ Directorate of Anti-Discrimination - Roma and Travellers Team. The report aims to contribute to transnational inclusive dialogue and action regarding Holocaust memorialisation, research, and education as tools to prevent identity-based violence, mass atrocities, and democratic backsliding globally. It is the result of a year-long research project – Countering Distortion of the Genocide of the Roma in Southeastern Europe – A Key Element for Developing Anti-Racism Strategies and Anti-Discrimination Policies and Practices. Key findings of the research conclude that there is a crucial need for conceptual, legal, and policy documents defining and addressing the denial and distortion of the Roma Holocaust/ Roma Genocide at the national and intergovernmental levels. Furthermore, the report provides relevant stakeholders with knowledge and recommendations to develop historically informed anti-discrimination initiatives and measures to counteract distortion and prevent racial discrimination and identity-based violence.
The report also contributes to two strategic components of the Council of Europe’s Strategic Action Plan for Roma and Traveller Inclusion (2020-2025). Firstly, the promotion of the teaching of Roma and Traveller history and the Roma Holocaust and inclusion in school curricula and textbooks through training of trainers and teachers as called for by Recommendation CM/Rec(2020)2 on Roma History Teaching at national level. The Observatory on History Teaching in Europe, set up as an enlarged partial agreement in November 2020, has the mission to promote practices of history teaching that strengthen and promote the Council of Europe’s values. Secondly, combating antigypsyism and discrimination and supporting real and effective equality is another component of the Strategic Action Plan. As such, the research study also has specific importance for the ROMACTED (Promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at local level) Programme, jointly funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union, and implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Kosovo*. The Programme’s objective is to assist local authorities in improving the lives of disadvantaged Roma citizens, through capacity building and effective participation of the relevant stakeholders in local plans and projects.
*All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.