• The French government failed to pursue necessary reforms to counter abusive identity checks, including ethnic profiling. Migrant Roma living in informal camps continue to be forcibly evicted, leading to further social exclusion and precarious living conditions, and removed from France. Modifications to the Criminal Code allow prosecution of French citizens and legal residents for participating in terrorism training abroad. The French parliament passed a law that legalizes same-sex marriage. A new law allows for far-reaching surveillance by the government with no judicial oversight.

  • French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at a news conference on the new government bill for security and anti-terrorism at the Elysee Palace in Paris, March 19, 2015. The backdrop/screen reads : Surveillance law, protect while respecting civil liberties.
    Draft legislation authorizing sweeping powers of digital surveillance is inconsistent with France’s international human rights commitments, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, which has already won approval of the National Assembly’s Law Commission, would create a highly damaging model for other countries and should be reconsidered and revised, not rushed through the parliament.

Reports

France

  • May 21, 2015
  • Apr 29, 2015
    So far this year, at least 1,750 people have died in the Mediterranean trying to reach European shores on unseaworthy, overcrowded boats. More than 1,000 people died in a single week in April, making it the deadliest month on record on the world’s most dangerous migration route.
  • Apr 23, 2015
    The commitment by European Union heads of state to triple the capacity of Frontex operations in the Mediterranean is an important step towards preventing migrant deaths at sea.
  • Apr 22, 2015
  • Apr 22, 2015
  • Apr 19, 2015
    The European Union (EU) should act immediately to prevent further deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said. As many as 700 migrants and asylum seekers are feared dead in a single shipwreck in the Mediterranean north of Libya on April 19, 2015, bringing the estimated death toll to over 1,000 in one week
  • Apr 6, 2015
    Draft legislation authorizing sweeping powers of digital surveillance is inconsistent with France’s international human rights commitments, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, which has already won approval of the National Assembly’s Law Commission, would create a highly damaging model for other countries and should be reconsidered and revised, not rushed through the parliament.
  • Feb 18, 2015
    When I was a child, my mother used to tell me how when he was only 11 years old, my grandfather left his hometown of Danzig (now Gdansk, in Poland), and traveled alone on a boat to England. My grandfather is Jewish and the trip saved his life.
  • Feb 11, 2015
    One month after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Norway, the contours of the response are becoming clear. Three areas stand out – new counterterrorism laws and policies; the related, though distinct, efforts to curb radicalisation and recruitment into terrorism, and a focus on tackling rising anti-Semitism.
  • Jan 29, 2015
    European Union leaders during 2014 were too often willing to sideline human rights at home when expedient in a year marked by success for populist and Eurosceptic parties in European Parliament elections and beyond, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. It highlights developments in 10 EU member states, EU human rights foreign policy, and Union-wide developments on migration and asylum, discrimination and intolerance, and counterterrorism.