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Preserving Romani Heritage & Preventing Genocide: new FNI study for the United Nations unveiled

Updated: Mar 1

The Facts and Norms Institute (FNI) is pleased to announce the conclusion of its active contribution to the "Romani Memory Map for the Americas" project, an initiative spearheaded by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The map seeks to rescue and preserve the history and memory of the Romani people, which has often been erased or misrepresented from public spaces and collective memory due to antigypsyism.

This initiative comes at a pivotal time as preparations are underway for the 80th-anniversary commemoration of the International Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on August 2, 2024. This day marks the liquidation of the “Zigeunerlager” in Auschwitz-Birkenau, where several thousand Roma were murdered by the Nazis in a single night.

The Institute's meeting with the United Nations

On September 8, 2023, FNI assistant researcher Ana Elisa Barbosa Mourão and FNI Director Henrique Napoleão Alves held a meeting with Ms. Aline Miklos, Consultant for OHCHR. During this meeting, they discussed the scope of FNI's contribution and how the institute could meaningfully assist in the collective development of this crucial project.

Ms. Miklos herlself belongs to a family of Hungarian Roma who arrived in Brazil around 1895. Prior to her appointment by the OHCHR to develop the Romani Memory Map project, she she collaborated with the United Nations through a Minority Fellowship. In addition to her work with the UN, Ms. Miklos has an extensive record of academic and cultural works regarding human rights and the Romani culture.

Documenting the voice of the Romani

Following the meeting, the Institute concluded its desk and field research on the presence and contributions of the Romani people in Brazil.

Research efforts included engaging directly with the Romani community through consultations with individuals and experts deeply embedded in Romani culture. This methodology ensured a holistic view, encompassing both historical documentation and living testimonies of the Romani people’s experiences and challenges.

The study unveiled several key findings, notably identifying nine potential Romani Memory Points across Brazil. These points of interest range from sites of historical significance to cultural landmarks, each telling a part of the Romani story in Brazil.

Through interviews with community leaders and members, the research illuminated the profound impact of antigypsyism, while also highlighting the community's resilience, cultural richness, and contributions to Brazilian society. The identified Memory Points propose a roadmap for future memorialization efforts, aiming to preserve and honor the Romani heritage within the Americas.


To read the full report, click here:

Contribuições para o Mapa da Memória Romani das Américas. Estudo para o ACNUDH. BR.
Download PDF • 2.00MB


Acknowledgement Note:

The authors are thankful to everyone who contributed to the research: Aline Miklos; André Nicoliche; Maria Jane; Flávio José de Oliveira Silva; João Batista Nogueira, the Rezende; Juliana Miranda Soares Campos; Leonardo Costa Kwiek; Nilcelia de Jesus; Raquel Freire do Amaral; and Valdinalva Caldas, Nalva. Our greetings and our respect to all those who defend the human rights of the Romani people in our country and on our continent.


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