November 2015 - Healing past abuses against minority communities

Recognising and remembering past abuses against minorities: The perspective and work of the United Nations

The United Nations’ point of view on recognising past abuses and addressing the discrimination experienced by minorities is clear: if nothing is done, nothing will change.

From the duty of remembrance to the duty of reparations

Memory is important. Remembrance play a key role in never forgetting tragic acts like slavery. But memory is not enough. The issue of reparations is now at the core of remembrance discussions worldwide.

European history of anti-Roma repression must be recognised

Only a few thousand Roma in Germany survived the Holocaust and the Nazi concentration camps. They faced enormous difficulties when trying to build their lives again, having lost so many of their family members and relatives, and having had their properties destroyed or confiscated. Many had their health ruined. [2]

Reconciliation through recognition and remembrance of the Roma Holocaust

Antigypsyism, just as anti-Semitism, has been deeply rooted in European societies and history for centuries. The continued denial of the Roma Holocaust and of many serious abuses and crimes against Roma communities across Europe, allows European governments and societies to continue policies that legitimise their exclusion and marginalisation. The recognition and remembrance of the Roma Holocaust, as well as the recognition of antigypsyism as a specific form of racism against Roma, constitute crucial steps towards reconciliation.

Interview: A European perspective on reparations

Jessica De Abreu took part in the International Reparations Summit in the United States last April and gives her views on reparations as a Black activist in Europe.

Why meaningful recognition is a prerequisite for the healing of past abuses

Contemporary forms of racism are rooted in past abuses against minority communities. Recognition of these abuses is a key step towards ensuring the lessons of history are learned and addressing the causes of current racial inequalities.