Roma, LGBT and Disability organisations stand together on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

27 January 2013

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), Roma Virtual Network (RVN), the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA – Europe) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) call on national governments and inter-governmental organisations to ensure the safety of all minorities who are targets for Europe’s extremists.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us of the millions of Roma, Jewish, homosexual, persons with disabilities, political opponents, Jehovah witnesses and other victims of the Holocaust and it is also a poignant date in the calendar to celebrate the lives of those who survived.

As human rights defenders, we are worried by the rise of extremist movements in Europe and even more concerned by what appears to be the mild reaction of some European governments to such developments.

Simply remembering the Holocaust is no longer enough. States must ensure the protection of human rights and the security of citizens, regardless of their race or ethnicity, religion or belief, disability sexual orientation or gender identity. Laws must be applied and enforced to prevent of the proliferation of racist and extremist ideologies which threaten harm to others.

The Holocaust took place because governments, institutions and civil society remained passive as prejudice, discrimination and hate flourished. Today is reminder to us all that the mistakes of the past should not be repeated.

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