“France would benefit from respecting an imperative of coherence on human rights”


LFrance’s influence in the world is closely linked to respect for rights and freedoms on the national territory. With the fourth largest diplomatic network in the world and its rich history and the power of its linguistic and cultural vector, France is recognized for its involvement in the construction of international human rights law. This is what allows him to raise a loud and beautiful voice and to carry weight in the world.

The year 2023 was marked by the fourth cycle of theUniversal Periodic Review from France. This is a major diplomatic event, but unfortunately little known, crucial for France’s place in the international community.

1er May, during its examination before the United Nations Human Rights Council, States sent 355 recommendations to France, an absolute record. On September 29, France announced that it planned to implement 274 of them.

The gap is widening

It was in 2006 that the international community designed the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, the objective of which is to enable the continued improvement of the human rights situation in countries. Each state in the world submits to it every five years, to present an inventory of the human rights situation within it and receive in return the recommendations issued by other states.

But, for France, this examination is of particular importance. Firstly structural, due to the historic deployment of ambitious human rights diplomacy. Then cyclical, since France is a candidate for re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2024-2026.

From the approximately 355 recommendations issued by States around the world so that France better respects human rights, we can draw two main lessons.

Thus, a number of democratic states have revealed their concerns regarding the risk of French “dropping out”. The international community seems to consider that the gap is widening between the values ​​promoted abroad by French diplomacy and the reality of the action carried out in favor of rights and freedoms within its borders. In other words, France would benefit from respecting an imperative of coherence on human rights.

Law enforcement abuse

While France has made the fight against impunity a major axis of its diplomacy, many States have pointed out the abuses of the police and the attacks on freedom of demonstration. While she presides the 8.7 Alliance of pioneer countries in the fight against human trafficking [dénomination faisant référence au septième alinéa du huitième des Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU], States were concerned that at the national level it no longer deployed a policy in this area. It is true that the last national plan has expired for two years and that, in any case, no one can say that it has been implemented.

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