STATEMENT BY MORGAN ORTAGUS, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON
April 8, 2020
International Roma Day
International Roma Day is an occasion to celebrate the traditions and history of Roma persons everywhere and to honor their contributions to the culture and society of nations around the world. This includes the United States, which is home to more than a million Roma.
Today is also an opportunity to remind ourselves of the hardships Roma have faced and continue to face. We remember the persecution and suffering of the Roma during the Holocaust. We also remind ourselves that many Roma continue to face severe discrimination and segregation, including in education and employment. We call on all governments to combat intolerance against the Roma and take real steps to include them in civic and economic life.
Today, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting dignity and equality for the Roma. During this time of crisis, it is more important than ever to uphold universal human rights and respect the individual value of every person. We urge governments to ensure that the needs and rights of members of marginalized Roma communities are taken into account in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.