Phiren Amenca

International Roma Youth United: 50 years after the First World Romani Congress

50 years ago, between 7 and 12 April 1971,  in the village of Chelsfield near Orpington and London took place the First World Romani Congress funded in part by the World Council of Churches and the Government of India. It was attended by 23 representatives from nine nations (Czechoslovakia, Finland, Norway, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Spain and Yugoslavia) and observers from Belgium, Canada, India and the United States. There the term ‘Roma’ (rather than variants of “gipsy”) was accepted, together with the design of the Romani flag, and the lyrics and music of the Romani anthem ‘Gelem, Gelem’. Later, in 1990, during the fourth World Romani Congress of the International Romani Union (IRU) in Serock, Poland, the 8th of April was declared as the International Day of Roma in honour of the first major international meeting of Romani representatives.

  The International Romani Day (April 8) is a day to celebrate Romani culture and raise awareness of the issues facing Romani people: Europe’s largest ethnic minority group.  Thanks to the digital age of social media, today this historical meeting can continue to be celebrated and respected within an online sphere even during a global pandemic, and furthermore, be annually observed by younger generations of Roma from all over the world to come together and mobilise. 

Today the Roma movement for Human Rights has been able to engage with more modern forms of activism and political discourse, advancing our aims for equality. We, Roma Youth, are the leading force for the development of our communities through direct community work, volunteering, and various other forms of grassroots activity. Furthermore, the Internet allows us, Roma Youth, to find and see each other from all corners of the globe, network with each other and engage in solidarity and mutual understanding of each other’s experiences. 

Therefore, 50 years later, we want to replicate this important meeting and bring Roma youth from ALL OVER THE WORLD together to discuss our shared experiences and at the same time diverse identities, get to know each other, look at our projects and work and establish partnerships that would make the Roma youth movement truly international!

“International Roma Youth United: 50 years after the First World Romani Congress” will take place online on Zoom on the 6th April 2021 at 05:00 PM CET (Central European Time)

If you are a young Roma, no matter from which country you come from, apply to take part in this unique World Roma Youth Conference and meet friends from around the world!

The deadline for this application is 28th March 2021 at 00:05 AM CET. 

You can apply HERE

The organizers will contact you at the end of March/beginning of April to inform you about the selection results and to provide the selected participants with details about the agenda.

Should you have any questions please e-mail Lois from the Phiren Amenca Team at [email protected]