Discrimination and Violence Against Germany's Roma and Sinti Community on the Rise: Report Reveals Alarming Numbers
Germany's leading Roma and Sinti group reports a surge in discrimination and racism against the community, with 621 cases recorded in the past year, largely due to rising nationalism and right-wing extremism.
Germany's leading Roma and Sinti group has reported a significant increase in incidents of discrimination and racism against the minority community, with a total of 621 cases recorded in the past year. The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma highlighted that most of these incidents involved discrimination and verbal stereotyping, but there were also 11 cases of threats, 17 attacks, and one case of extreme violence. The rise in nationalism and right-wing extremism in the country has been identified as a contributing factor to the violence against minorities.
Roma and Sinti are recognized as minorities in Germany, with approximately 60,000 Sinti and 10,000 Roma residing in the country. However, the actual number of racism cases is likely much higher due to underreporting. The report also revealed that Romanians who have fled the war in Ukraine were disproportionately affected by discrimination. The report further highlighted that about half of the recorded cases of discrimination occurred at the institutional level, involving employees of state institutions such as the police, youth welfare offices, job centers, and municipal administrations responsible for accommodating refugees.
This systemic discrimination calls for the state to take responsibility and ensure the protection of Sinti and Roma communities against violence, exclusion, and discrimination. The report's findings shed light on the dangers of increasing nationalism and right-wing extremism, which perpetuate aggression and violence against Sinti, Roma, and other minority groups. The head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose, emphasized the urgency of addressing these issues. Traces of historical persecution against the Roma and Sinti communities during the Third Reich were also mentioned in the report, with an estimated 220,000 to 500,000 European Sinti and Roma being persecuted and murdered at that time.
Recognizing the historical context, the German government's commissioner against antiziganism, Mehmet Daimagueler, called for decisive action to protect these communities from violence, exclusion, and discrimination. The term "antiziganism" was used in the report to describe the biases, stereotypes, and discrimination faced by Roma, Sinti, and travelers, who are often stigmatized as Gypsies. This term, which is widely recognized as a racial slur, highlights the urgent need to combat these negative stereotypes and prejudices.