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France: Mobilisation against Racism for Equality

March 16th 2016

In October 2014, the Defender of Rights, Equinet’s French member, launched a call for a "commitment to the defence of equality in the fight against racism." Indeed, the Defender of Rights is responsible for promoting equality and fighting against discrimination. The institution is regularly called upon by stakeholders involved in fighting racism with regards to the propagation of racist remarks in spaces of public expression.


Various initiatives contributing to fighting racism on a daily basis are already in place in France, but such initiatives are all too often ignored. The Defender of Rights has brought together various partners to organise a global response to tackle all manifestations of racism, including speech, discrimination and violence. Together with different partners the Defender of Rights has created a website that provides information regarding laws and legal texts, and that outlines and promotes measures implemented by businesses, associations, local authorities, etc.


52 organisations have responded to this call made by the Defender of Rights, in October 2014, resulting in an unprecedented commitment to the fight against racism. A very wide variety of stakeholders is involved, some with very little to do with fighting racism, and all making a valuable contribution. The committed parties reflect the diversity of spaces of public expression in which racism can manifest itself, through both words and actions: in everyday situations, in the workplace, in transport and housing, in the digital sphere, etc.


The website lies at the heart of the commitment to fight racism, and is designed to serve as a valuable resource centre with regards to legal knowledge and measures that can be taken. It provides various sources of information, and offers suitable responses covering the various ways in which racism can manifest itself. It is thus aimed at all those wishing to take action or who have witnessed or been the target of racist remarks or acts.


Equinet’s press release in September 2015: here.


Background: European Action Week against Racism

Every year, UNITED for intercultural action (European Network against nationalism, racism, fascism, in support of migrants and refugees) run the European Action Week against Racism. This year, the campaign will start on 12th March and finish on 21st March.
Considering the proliferation of racism against migrants and refugees at the moment, Equinet wants to do its part to highlight initiatives carried out by its members to fight racism across Europe.