Honouring the International Holocaust Remembrance Day as a way to eradicate all forms of racism and discrimination

27 January 2017

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

On the** International Holocaust Remembrance Day**, the undersigned anti-racism and anti-discrimination civil society organisations and activists are coming together to underline the need to react to the alarming rise in xenophobia and the popularity of far-right politics and discourses across Europe and the world. Today is a day to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi regime against Jews, Roma, Sinti, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people. Remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust should serve as a warning and remind us to be vigilant and learn lessons from Europe’s darkest history chapter as a way to avoid its repetition.

Despite the efforts made by civil society organisations to maintain and promote peace, equality and solidarity, Europe is facing a rise on nationalism, populism and racism which continue to inflict fear within our societies and hatred of others, leaving the world in a state of uncertainty. This puts into question the founding values of the European Union (EU).

A report by the European Parliament demonstrates an increase in violence and discrimination againstminorities and the protection of human rights is being challenged in many parts of the world. Given the current political and social climate across the EU, it is more pertinent and urgent than ever to protect the EU founding values of equality and non-discrimination.

We call on European leaders, national governments and civil society organisations to protect the fundamental rights of all citizens, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, sex characteristics, gender expression and/or gender identity. The EU and member states should eradicate any form of racism and discrimination such as anti-Gypsyism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and disabilism. Awareness raising campaigns about the danger of xenophobia should be carried out. Urgent actions are also needed to combat hate speech and strengthen efforts to construct an inclusive Europe which values its diversity.

Signed by:

  • European Roma Information Office (ERIO) - www.erionet.eu
  • Anna Lisa Tota (University Rome III), Italy
  • Associação Plano i, Portugal - www.associacaoplanoi.org
  • Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), UK - www.ajr.org.uk
  • Ethel Brooks (Rutgers University & United States Holocaust Memorial Council), USA
  • European Disability Forum (EDF)
  • European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA Europe) - www.ilga-europe.org
  • Muzeum Romské Kultury, Czech Republic - www.rommuz.cz
  • Petre Jorna, Consultancy Social Inclusion, the Netherlands
  • Unión Romaní, Spain - www.unionromani.org

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