Racism: The CNCDH calls for the fight against prejudice, “from school to university” – France

Tolerance towards minorities is improving in France, but certain groups remain “stigmatized”, notably the Roma population, said the National Advisory Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), calling for “training and awareness-raising” in the fight against prejudice, “from school to university”.

“From 1990 to 2022 (…) the acceptance of minorities in France has generally improved”. And “since 2015, the tolerance level seems to continue to increase,” emphasizes Jean-Marie Burgubur, president of the CNCDH, in the institution’s annual report. This body will publish its report on the inventory of racism in France on Monday, a document that will also be handed over to Isabelle Lonvis-Rome, the Prime Minister’s deputy responsible for diversity.

Since 2008, a “tolerance index” has been published there every year, calculated by Vincent Tiberj, one of the researchers on the team, based on online and in-person surveys conducted by the CNCDH. This index stood at 68 in 2022 (on a scale up to 100, the maximum tolerance), which is two points more than in 2019 and 14 more than in 2013.

The ubiquity of the security theme

“However, the stigmatizing discourse with racist and xenophobic undertones has not disappeared from the public and media space,” said Jean-Marie Burgubur. “The months of health crisis have reactivated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and the presidential campaign has been marked by the obsessive return of the security theme, which is likely to amplify xenophobic shutdown and withdrawal reflexes,” he said. The tolerance index per “minority” is “80 against Blacks”, “79 against Jews”, “74 against North Africans”, “62 against Muslims” and “52 against Roma”, according to the report. the report.

From its research, the CNCDH notes that racist prejudice persists, even though some are on the wane. For example, 38% of the French think that “Islam poses a threat to the identity of France” (compared to 44.7% in 2019) or even 45% think that “the Roma live mainly on theft and human trafficking” (48 .2% in 2019). And 37% believe that “Jews have a special relationship with money,” an increase from two years ago (34.1%).

As in its previous report, the CNCDH recalls that racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic facts remain largely underreported: “1.2 million people are victims of at least one attack per year (insults, threats, violence or discrimination),” she notes. , based on estimates from the study “Living environment and security” 2019 (INSEE/Statistics of the Ministries of the Interior and Justice). But the following year, only 7,759 cases of a racist nature were brought to court, according to ministry figures. A “dark figure” explained in particular “by the difficulty” for the victims “to file a complaint”.

Twelve recommendations

The CNCDH makes twelve “priority” recommendations: the establishment of “mandatory modules in the continuing education of teachers in the fight against racism”; adopt a “National Action Plan on Digital Citizenship Training”; better train the police and gendarmerie or magistrates in racist lawsuits. The Commission also calls for “human and financial resources to fight anti-Gypsyism”, with a “government commitment to change perspectives and practices towards the Roma population”.

In particular, it recommends the establishment of a “school break to prevent any interruption of education related to expulsion”. In 2021, 1,330 evictions from informal living spaces took place. Or even to “promote access to the rights of litigants”.

Other recommendations include “the effective filing of online complaints as provided for by law,” or even the desire that the Interministerial Delegation for Combating Racism and Anti-Semitism (Dilcrah) “really” address the issue of discrimination in the world of work.

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