Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement marking International Roma Day:
“I am pleased to mark International Roma Day and celebrate the contributions of Roma persons to world history and culture. As we celebrate the great contributions of the Romani people throughout history, we must not lose site of the fact that they continue to face intolerance and are still fighting for equal opportunities for themselves and their families.
“To this day, Romani continue to face political and economic marginalization preventing them from participating fully in our societies. In many cases they are systematically discriminated against and denied access to education and fair employment. Indeed, during the global economic downturn over the last decade, we have seen an increase in incidents of anti-Roma rhetoric and violence across the European continent and around the world.
“Romani people are on the frontlines of the struggle for greater human rights and dignity. The United States must continue to work to improve opportunities for Roma to participate in the political, social, economic, and cultural lives of their communities. Roma everywhere deserve the opportunity to have a better and brighter future.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.