Antigypsyism in Romania: Lessons (not) learned

National Research Report by Iulius Rostas & Ciprian Nodis
This paper by Iulius Rostas and Ciprian Nodis represents an analysis of antigypsyism in Romania. It is part of the CHACHIPEN project, advancing the recognition of, and response to, antigypsyism to achieve justice, equality, non-discrimination, and the full participation of Roma as equal citizens across Europe.

Part one of this report examines historically rooted antigypsyism in Romania as related to Roma slavery and the Roma Holocaust. Part two presents the key manifestations of antigypsyism considered for this research. Part three analyses the most significant policies towards Roma adopted by successive Romanian governments. Finally, Part four presents lessons learned and suggests keys ways forward through the use of transitional justice tools.

The present analysis identifies major gaps in the work of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania and the need to update its Final Report. The establishment of the Commission on the Studying of Roma Slavery further indicates that a number of prerequisites can help to advance the agenda on dealing with the Roma past:

  • Involve Roma academics and scholars in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions or expert commissions on thematic topics, specific periods or specific geographic areas;
  • Involve non-Roma academics who are knowledgeable and sensitive to issues of social justice for Roma. Their reputation and moral standing should be impeccable;
  • Archival access, in Romania and other countries, should be ensured by the authorities;
  • Adequate financial resources should be allocated in order to facilitate the work of these commissions;
  • Work closely with Roma NGOs and communities as one of the primary constituencies and audiences of these commissions;
  • The commissions should be followed by structures that supplement its work with additional research and/or by using other transitional justice tools – memorialization, commemoration, legislation adjustments, vetting, compensations, rewriting history textbooks, unofficial truth projects, etc
  • Establishing expert sub-commissions on specific events would lead to more efficiency, rather than having a single commission for the whole history of Roma.

You can access the full report here

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