March 27, 2023
In 2021, “7,721 cases of a racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic nature were the subject of legal actionaccording to the Department of Justice. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

This very broad plan will affect different areas, from justice to education, including employment and sport, for example.

Systematize testing on employment discrimination, “develop tools” with digital platforms and influencers, make possible a “arrest warrant“: the government will announce Monday, January 30 a plan to fight against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination linked to origin.

This 2023-2026 plan, which will be detailed by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and the Minister responsible for Equal Opportunities Isabelle Rome, in the presence of ten other ministers, provides for a series of measures that affect different sectors, ranging from education employment, justice or sport.

According to data from the Ministry of Justice, in 2021, “7,721 cases of a racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic nature were the subject of legal action“. In total “1382 convictions [ont été] pronounced for racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic acts or committed with this aggravating circumstance“.

Better educate and train

For more than 5 years, we have been fighting all forms of hatred and tracking down all forms of discrimination“said the Prime Minister, adding that this plan must”make it possible to better name and better measure“these phenomena,”to better educate and train, to better sanction the authors of unacceptable remarks or acts and finally to always better support the victims“.

To never give in to the trivialization of racism, in all its forms, and of anti-Semitism, we must first educate“, also pleaded Isabelle Rome. “And at the same time, we must be intractable with those who spread this poison“.

Elisabeth Borne – whose father, a Jew, was deported, then took his own life when his daughter was 11 – provides in particular in this plan, “the organization of a history or memory visit linked to racism, anti-Semitism or anti-Gypsyism for each student during their schooling“.

One “reinforcement“training of teachers and state civil servants in general (security forces, Pôle emploi reception agents, etc.) is also planned, and must begin”from the beginning of 2023“.

Punish bad students

The government also intends to create aggravated penalties in cases “non-public offenses of a racist or anti-Semitic nature committed in the exercise of their functions by persons vested with public authority or charged with a public service mission“.

Among its key measures, the plan also provides for “systematize testing on employment discriminationin different sectors, private and public, in consultation with trade unions and employers’ organizations and associations in particular. Testing consists of sending two identical CVs for the same job offer, with the only difference being the candidate’s origin.

In “graded logic“, if the bad practices persist, the government does not exclude sanctions and resorting to the practice of “name and shame“, publishing the names of less virtuous companies.

In order to “promote digital citizenship“, the plan plans to involve “platforms and influencers, in a collaborative work to develop tools aimed at improving the behavior of Internet users“.

As with victims of sexual violence, the government wants to secure the filing of a complaint. The police are invited to better collect and process them, via a “partial anonymization» or thanks to «an evaluation grid“.

The government still intends to enshrine in lawthe possibility» to issue a «arrest warrant” in case of “racist or anti-Semitic convictions“, of “challenge of crimes against humanity» or «apology for crimes against humanity or war crimes“. This to allow the execution of sentences “when convicted perpetrators think of escaping it by fleeing abroad“.

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