Dr Rosa Taikon was the older sister of the famous Roma activist, Katarina Maria Taikon (b.1932, d.1995). Together they fought for Roma rights in Sweden. Among other things, they were both engaged in the journal Zigenaren: amé beschás: zigenarnas tidskrift (Journal of the Gypsies), which was an important publication about discrimination and promoting Roma rights.

Rosa continued as an activist until her final years and in 2012 she enjoyed international recognition as a one of the Romani Elders, during a meeting in Berlin, aimed at ensuring the erection of the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism. She was known for her appearances on Swedish radio and television. She collaborated in various government investigations concerning Roma issues.

She received the Illys quorum meruere labores, gold medal from the government in 2010, the Olof Palme Prize in 2013 and an honorary doctorate from Södertörn University College (2014), in recognition of her long struggle as an activist and for her artistic work.

Taikon was a renowned silversmith and her work was widely exhibited. To Rosa Taikon, who never had any children of her own, it was important to educate all Swedish children about the Roma. She often lectured in schools and universities. She was busy writing articles and giving lectures until just a few weeks before she passed away.