ZAGREB – JASENOVAC,  MAY 23-24, 2013
Suffering of Roma during the Second World War and  discrimination of Roma, were the focus of the International Conference held in Zagreb and Jasenovac on May 23-24, 2013, organized by the Roma National Council (RNC) which acts as the umbrella organization for the Roma in Croatia, in the cooperation with the Government Office for Human Rights and  Rights of National Minorities and the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat.
International Conference called “Linkage of the historical experience of  Roma in Europe with the promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination of Roma” has gathered the scientists, experts, representatives of Governments of the Decade member countries, representatives of Roma NGOs from the Decade member countries, diplomatic representatives, representatives of international organizations and members of Roma community in Croatia.

President of the RNC and Member of Croatian Parliament Veljko Kajtazi in the opening of the Conference said that the awareness of the suffering of the Roma in the past is the best barrier to prevent discrimination against Roma people in the present and the future.
One of priorities of RNC is renewing the memory on suffering of Roma during the Second World War. He reminded that the August 2nd is the International Day to commemorate the Roma Victims of the Second World War. On that date 1944th   Nazis killed 2897 Roma in Auschwitz concentration camp and on the same date we remember the Roma victims of the Ustasha concentration camp Jasenovac. There are 16 173 Roma who were killed in Jasenovac whose names we know and thousands more Roma were killed in Jasenovac whose names we don’t know. Last year we drew attention to the Roma cemetery Ustica which is part of Jasenovac Memorial Site and started the process of its additionally marking (repairing the access road etc. ).
Croatian Ombudsman Lora Vidovic stated that last year's survey found that around a quarter of citizens in Croatia consider unacceptable for their children to marry someone of a different nationality, skin color or religion, and half of citizens consider problematic employment of Roma in their firm. She emphasized importance of  Holocaust and Human Rights Education in preventing discrimination against Roma.
In the first part of working part of the Conference were  presented historical research on committed atrocities against the Roma people during the Second World War (Dr Danijel Vojak and Dr Viorel Achim spoke about Persecution of Roma in Independent State of Croatia and in Romania), the way of presentation of these topic in the school curriculum and textbooks (Dr Erika Thurner and Dr Gerhard Baumgartner spoke about Nazi policy against Roma as an education topic and on new teaching materials concerning the Roma genocide) and the efforts for commemorating the suffering of Roma during the Second World War (Dr Dragoljub Acković; Chair of IHRA Dr Mario Silva and TernYpe representative Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez were speakers on this panel) . In the second part of the Conference, the historical experiences of the Roma were linked with the issue of discrimination against Roma by the Michail Beis ( FRA);  Member of ECRI Dejan Palić; Tena Šimonović Einwalter (Office of the Ombudsman- Croatia); Andrea Čolak (ERRC) and Dr Dan Oprescu Zenda (National Agency on Roma, Romania).
Second day of the conference the participants visited the Roma cemetery Uštica in Jasenovac. On the last session of Conference, held in Primary school Jasenovac, were adopted conclusions which are transformed into “Jasenovac Declaration” signed by the Conference participants.
Complete video of the conference will be available soon on