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 Ballot envelope, initials Republique Francaise, with a ballot box, March 5, Gace, France. © Sipa via AP Images

(Paris,  March 7, 2022) - France's 2022 presidential election is an opportunity for voters to make their vote count for human rights by examining the candidates’ commitment to human rights values, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released a guide for voters a month in advance of the first round of voting.

"Voting for Human Rights: A Guide for 2022" provides voters with basic elements and references on ten core human rights issues.

"Every election, especially a presidential election, gives France’s voters the power to choose candidates who put respect for the rights and freedoms of everyone at the heart of their platform," said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director of Human Rights Watch. "With the rhetoric of intolerance and rejection of human rights principles permeating politics and the presidential campaign in France, the impact voters can have if they stand up for human rights when exercising their vote, can be more important than ever.”

In the 2022 French presidential election, many topics of importance to voters involve fundamental human rights. They include respect for the rule of law in France and in Europe, the right to be protected from gender-based violence and discrimination, equal access to vaccines and health care amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the right to a clean, healthy, and safe environment, the right to be treated equally by the police and other authorities, migrants’ rights, and the right to seek asylum. 

A human rights voter should support candidates who want the country to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect everyone’s human rights. Voters should consider what a candidate's campaign platform says about key human rights issues, so they can support candidates who will push for policies that enable everyone to have the same opportunities to pursue their fundamental rights in France and who will defend human rights abroad. 

As candidates seek their votes, "Voting for Human Rights: A Guide for 2022" provides voters with some basic human rights questions and references they should take into consideration.

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