Ottawa – Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, today issued the following statement:
“In the years leading up to and during the Holocaust, an estimated 500,000 Roma and Sinti children, women, and men were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. This horrific crime is known in Romani as the Porajmos [the devouring] and the Samudaripen [the mass killing], and it must never be forgotten.
“Today, we reaffirm Canada’s determination to preserve the memory of the victims of this terrible atrocity. We also recognize that the discrimination that Roma and Sinti populations continue to face worldwide is in part due to the neglect of remembering this dark chapter of history.
“At home and abroad, Canada continues to work hard to fight prejudice, protect human rights, and promote inclusion and respect for diversity. As a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Committee on the Genocide of the Roma, we strongly support the development of educational materials on the history and consequences of this mass atrocity for teachers and policy-makers. These efforts continue to be an important part of building awareness and understanding of the genocide.
“Racism, discrimination, and hate have no place in Canada. Let us honour the memory of the Roma and Sinti victims of the Holocaust by standing united against prejudice and discrimination. May we always fight to ensure that these terrible acts of hatred never happen again.”