Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide

Riot police scuffle with protesters during a protest in Rennes, France.

France Protests Test Government’s Commitment to Rights

Since January 2023, millions of protesters have peacefully taken to the streets across France, opposing a pension reform plan that increases the retirement age by two years, to 64. Numerous videos, pictures, and testimonies circulating on social and traditional media suggest the police have used a seemingly heavy-handed, disproportionate, and indiscriminate response.