International Romani Union

The International Romani Union (Romani: Romano Internacionalno Jekhetanipe), formerly known as the International Gypsy Committee and International Rom Committee, is an organization active for the rights of the Romani people. Its seat is in Vienna. The International Romani Union also has offices in Skopje, North Macedonia, and Washington, D.C., USA.

Romano Internacionalno Jekhetanipe
International Romani Union
Flag of the Romani people
Anthem: Gelem, Gelem
Official languageRomani
TypeTransnational Union
• President
Zoran Dimov
• Vice Presidents
Ajten Berlafa, Stefano Kuzhicov
• Vice President for Education
Punita G Singh
• Vice President for Finances
Dr. Vijendra Sharma
• Head of Parliament
Rosita Grönfors
• Vice Presidents of the Parliament
Grazziano Halilovic, Radmila Nesic
• Vice President of the IRU for the Russia, Australia, USA, Asia
Artur Kvik, Nijazi Taip, Anatoly Butakov, Veerandra Rishi
• General Secretary
Ramush Muarem
• Treasurer
Veli Husein
• High Commissioner - IRU Youth - Roma Ombudsman
Khurram Khan - Tashya Mathuin - Nina Rusokova

The IRU was established at the second World Romani Congress in 1978.[1] Its presidents have included Stanislav Stankiewicz, Emil Ščuka, and before him, Rajko Đurić, who held this office for many years. The current President of the IRU is Mr. Zoran Dimov, who was elected during the 10th Congress which was held on 18–20 March 2016 in Skopje, Macedonia. Was attended by 100 delegates and members of the IRU from 40 countries, Zoran Dimov was elected to be the President of the IRU. After that, a new leadership of the IRU Parliament chaired by the past head of Parliament Stevo Balogh from Austria was elected.

The IRU has a CONSULTATIVE ECOSOC Status within the UN.[2]


In 1959, Ionel Rotaru founded the World Gypsy Community (CMG) in France. While members were mostly French, the organization made contacts in Poland, Canada, Turkey, and other countries. When the French government dissolved the CMG in 1965, a breakaway group formed the International Gypsy Committee (IGC) under the leadership of Vanko Rouda. When the 1971 World Romani Congress adopted the self-appellation of "Roma" rather than gypsy, the IGC was renamed the Komiteto Lumniako Romano (International Rom Committee or IRC), and Rouda was re-confirmed as president. The Committee became a member of the Council of Europe the following year. The Committee has changed again at the 1978 World Romani Congress and given its present name. It was given consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council the following year. The Union became a registered NGO with UNICEF in 1986. In 1993, it was promoted to Category II, Special Consultative Status at the United Nations.[citation needed]

The main source of income is the membership fees of the individual members, and member organizations.[citation needed]


The IRU consists of four bodies: Congress, Parliament, Presidium, and Court of Justice.

The "Congress" of the IRU includes delegates from all over the world, in proportion to the total Romani population in that country. Delegates can propose individual recommendations for the IRU, and together, they may choose whether to accept the IRU program.[citation needed]

Unlike the Congress, the "Parliament" of the IRU is made up of a single representative (and one substitute) from each member country. Parliament accepts reports on the situation of Romani peoples around the world and decides the domestic and international policies of the IRU. Delegates must also approve each year's budget. The "Presidium" serves as the IRU's executive and conducts work through sub-commissions on "foreign policy, social and economic affairs, cultural and educational affairs, human rights, internal affairs, financial and budgetary matters, legal and legislative matters, issues relating to Central and Eastern Europe, and issues relating to America, Asia, and Australia. It may request studies and reports on a variety of topics, and make formal recommendations to other IRU bodies, or to individual countries or organizations.[citation needed]

Members of the "Court of Justice" are independent judges, elected for their personal integrity, regardless of their membership in the IRU. The Court is tasked with observing all bodies of the IRU and ensuring their observance of the organization's rules and regulations.[citation needed]

Institutional linksEdit

The IRU has institutional links with: - the Council of Europe. - OSCE (ODHIR). - UNHCHR. - UNO - ERTF. The IRU has a memorandum of understanding with many other countries with a view to the "continuous improvement of the situation and living conditions of the Roma.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ ZD Barany (1994). "Living on the Edge: The East European Roma in Postcommunist Politics and Societies". Slavic Review.
  2. ^ "Follow-up to the decision of the Economic and Social Council" (PDF). 8 June 2018. Retrieved 2021-04-23.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit