International Roma Day

Statement by Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

April 7, 2021

On behalf of the Government of the United States, I extend my best wishes to Roma everywhere on International Roma Day.

On April 8, we celebrate the rich culture, language, and heritage of Roma around the world, including the generations of Romani Americans who have helped build the United States.

Today is also a day to remember that many Roma continue to suffer from systemic discrimination and violence. Discriminatory treatment and stereotyping prevents Roma from fully participating in political, social and economic life around the world.  We urge governments to provide equal access to education, employment, housing, health care, and public services, and to uphold their international obligations to respect the human rights of all people within their borders.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important that public leaders condemn hate speech and its pernicious consequences and address and prevent health inequities that stem from systemic and structural racism.

The United States applauds the October 2020 working definition of anti-Roma discrimination adopted by the 34-nation International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which provides a tool for governments and the public to identify the many manifestations of this persistent form of bigotry.

Every individual is born free and equal in dignity and rights, and the United States remains committed to human rights and racial equality, both at home and abroad.  On International Roma Day, we reaffirm this commitment to Roma worldwide.