Roma group protesting AP

An independent commission for combating Antiziganism in Germany requires a fundamental change in society

Antiziganism is an extremely serious problem affecting the whole of German society. This reads the latest report of the Independent Commission for Combating Antiziganism, commissioned by the German Parliament. The commission's 821-page report is based on 15 current researches and extensive empirical studies.

It has studied, the anti-Roma attitudes, for instance, in municipal administration, the police, textbooks, films, journalistic reports and social media. The report found that antiziganism racism represents a "comprehensive day-to-day experience for Sinti and Roma" and found "a failure of German policy, German legislation and enforcement."

The Commission therefore calls for a comprehensive antiziganism strategy. "We need a fundamental change of perspective in German society that takes into account the structural causes of the problem."

In this context, the so-called "Policy of catching up justice" is also crucial, "as it will erase the injustice done to survivors and their heirs after 1945". In addition, the Commission calls for "effective and sustainable participation structures at all levels for Sinti and Roma communities".

With regard to the media coverage of Sinti and Roma, the Commission recommends Sinti and Roma organisations to be involved in the administrative and supervisory committees, as well as in the preparation of public service broadcasting. According to the report, "convincing creative and journalistic material related to the deconstruction of anti-Gypsy models of perception and thinking should be more strongly respected." Sinti and Roma's own press services, radio stations or publications should also be financially and ideologically supported.

Media corporations and newsrooms are urged to take into account the results of anti-Gypsy research and to develop appropriate ethical guidelines. An important prerequisite for this is the inclusion of the topic in the curriculum of Journalism and Media and Mass communications degree programs in universities and colleges. It should also become a regular part of the additional training programs for journalists.

In addition, effective measures for stronger self-representation of Sinti and Roma in the media should be taken immediately. The report contains a wide range of specific guidelines for action at all levels and in all areas.

The Independent Commission recommends that the state and the provinces appoint special commissioners to combat Antiziganism and that a standing commission be set up to work at the highest political level against Sinti and Roma.

The Independent Antiziganism Commission was set up by the German parliament. It features11 representatives of science and civil society, who deal with Antiziganism, respectively with the hostility, prejudice, discrimination or racism which is specifically directed at Romani people. 

The full text of the report in German can be found here: