UN Strongly Criticizes France’s Racial Discrimination Of Roma

After reviewing several legal complaints filled by Roma associations and human rights groups, the UN’s anti-racism and discrimination Committee  will  send a letter to put pressure on the European Union to urgently address the situation of the Roma and the Travelers  in the context of France’s controversial collective deportation of Roma conducted by the Sarkozy administration.

The UN Committee stressed that any collective repatriation is not acceptable under the UN Human Rights Charter. The Committee judged that the Roma are currently “subject to a rise in racist violence”, and that such actions are taken seriously when there are worrying signs of “widespread racial discrimination”.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has 18 members and is part of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In France on Thursday, the mass deportation continued. An additional 283 Roma were expelled from France, bringing this year’s total to 8,313. According to official figures from the French Minister of Immigration, 7,875 Roma were thrown out of the country last year.

The UN Human Rights Committee said it was extremely worried by “political speeches of a discriminatory nature”, which come amid a rise of racism and xenophobia in France and across the EU. To echo this point, on Thursday, during his visit to Paris, Romanian Minister Valentin Mocanu warned France against “a drift towards racism and xenophobia”.

Sarkozy, who shows record low approval rating in the polls, is eager to distract from a growing financial scandal by using his  “law & order” policy-which includes the mass deportation of Roma- to cater to the French far-right. Just like in the United States the anti-immigrant agenda is popular in France, and Sarkozy thinks he can get some votes by fishing in the murky racist waters of the French electorate. The left, in France, are comparing the policy of Sarkozy towards the Roma to the one of fascist pro-German Petain during World War II.

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