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August 2nd, 2018

NDP Statement on the Annual Commemoration of the Roma and Sinti Genocide

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP, issued the following statement:

"On this day in 1944, during World War II, all the 2897 Roma and Sinti who remained imprisoned in the Nazi ‘Gypsy Camp’ were systematically killed in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Many years later, in 1979, Germany officially recognized that the persecution of the Roma people during WWII was racially motivated, and that they were treated in the same manner as the Jewish people. Yet to this day, only two other countries have recognized the Roma genocide: Poland and Croatia.

During the war, it is estimated that 500,000 Roma and Sinti were killed by the Nazis. After centuries of discrimination, Roma and Sinti communities in Europe continue to face segregation, persecution and violence.

On this day, New Democrats stand together with our Canadian Roma and Sinti neighbours, and we call on the federal government to officially acknowledge this genocide. Acknowledging this dark history is the key to changing the present.

We reaffirm the dignity and human rights of Roma populations everywhere in the world, and of the over 5000 Roma and Sinti people in Canada, a country that will only truly become home the day where both federal and provincial governments work together to end the discrimination of Roma people in Canada."