print this page

Wallenberg Prize for Roma Advocate


When he was eight years old, Emir Selimi moved to Sweden from Serbia in the former Yugoslavia. As an adult he set up the Young Roma group which started the first web-based Roma school and promotes Romany minority language.

Selimi also lectures in schools and liaises with the police and local authorities to stamp out discrimination against the Roma community.

Olle Wästberg, the chair of the jury, said "What Emir is doing is truly in the spirit of Raoul Wallenberg by showing courage and raising awareness to highlight xenophobia and intolerance,"

"He is very much an inspiration, particularly for young people."

In a statement Selimi said he was humbled to receive the award which was established last year to coincide with Raoul Wallenberg Day on August 27th.

"I strongly believe that every person can make a difference. You don't have to be a superhero to stop racism or the injustices that can affect anyone," he said.

 As part of his work Selimi has built relationships to the Jewish, Sami and Muslim communities and hosted lectures on intolerance in school.

In a ceremony in Stockholm, Selimi received a bronze portfolio, a diploma and a 100,000 kronor (11,100 Euro) donation to his organization.

Photo: Charles L. Sjölander