Tags: UN Roma France Critics

UN Panel Critical of France Over Roma Expulsions

Friday, 27 Aug 2010 09:34 AM

A United Nations-backed committee of experts sharply criticized France on Friday for deporting large groups of Roma and said the government in Paris should do more to combat what it termed a growing racist and xenophobic tone in the country’s public debate, The New York Times reports.

The 18-member committee, which issues periodic reports on racial discrimination around the world, prepared its findings on France coincidentally against a backdrop of passionate debate there over the government’s moves against foreign-born Roma, also known as Gypsies. In response to the criticism, France said on Friday that it “scrupulously” respects European law and its international obligations.

On instructions from President Nicolas Sarkozy, French police have been dismantling improvised Roma camps in recent weeks and deporting Roma groups to Bulgaria and Romania.

The French government said that all those flown back to the Balkans were part of a voluntary repatriation scheme and had accepted payments equivalent to about $380 per adult and $120 per child.

However the report issued here on Friday questioned that assertion , saying that “not all individuals” had given “their free and full consent” or understood their rights.

It urged France “specifically to avoid collective repatriation” and instead seek permanent solutions for the welfare of the Roma, ensuring that “they have access to education, health services, housing and other temporary infrastructure.”

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

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A United Nations-backed committee of experts sharply criticized France on Friday for deporting large groups of Roma and said the government in Paris should do more to combat what it termed a growing racist and xenophobic tone in the country’s public debate, The New York Times reports.
UN Roma France Critics
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2010-34-27
Friday, 27 Aug 2010 09:34 AM
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