Foreign Minister Maas on the IHRA working definition of antigypsyism/anti‑Roma discrimination

31.03.2021 - Press release

Today, the Federal Cabinet adopted the non‑binding working definition of antigypsyism/anti‑Roma discrimination of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The working definition was adopted by the 34 IHRA member states on 8 October 2020 during Germany’s IHRA Presidency. Germany is the first country to also adopt the working definition at national level. The hope is that this will encourage other countries and civil‑society organisations to use it. Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (31 March) in this regard:

The genocide of the Sinti and Roma during the Nazi era has been neglected for far too long. Even today, there remains a lot to be done in terms of addressing this crime, which was also set into motion by Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, however, antigypsyism and discrimination against Sinti and Roma have been around for much longer and they persist to this very day in our societies.

One of our goals during our Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance was to heighten awareness around the world of this phenomenon. With the working definition of antigypsyism/anti‑Roma discrimination, we have now created an instrument which will help us to recognise widespread antigypsy stereotypes and to do something to tackle hatred and hate speech against Sinti and Roma – both within institutions and through the civic courage of every individual who observes discrimination and antigypsyism.

Today’s decision by the Federal Cabinet is intended to foster the widespread use of the definition both internationally and within Germany. Particularly in light of International Roma Day on 8 April, this sends an important message about the rights of Roma around the world.

Further Information:

The working definition of antigypsyism/anti‑Roma discrimination provides a useful tool to help us recognise hatred, racism and discrimination both in everyday life and on the internet and to take decisive action. In particular, the working definition is intended to be used in schools and adult education, as well as in basic and further training in the judicial and executive spheres. It will make it easier to recognise and analyse the different facets and forms of antigypsyism as a certain type of racism, marginalisation and discrimination.

Germany’s one‑year Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) ends today. Greece will now take over. As a member of the troika, however, Germany will continue to work alongside the Greek Chairmanship to further the implementation of the projects launched during the last year, for example the Global Task Force on Holocaust Distortion initiated by Foreign Minister Maas.


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