France: Ethnic Profiling Challenge

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Download the 7-page briefing paper.
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Download the 7-page briefing paper.
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Download the 2-page fact sheet.
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For decades, French residents of immigrant origin—both the recently arrived and those whose families have been living in France for multiple generations—have complained that police target them for unfair, discriminatory, and unnecessary identity checks. Multiple reports issued by independent oversight bodies, civil society organizations, and academics lend credence to this complaint, establishing strong evidence of ethnic profiling in France.

A coalition of advocates, including the Open Society Justice Initiative, is now challenging this discriminatory practice before France's Constitutional Council, asking that the permissive legal framework which enables such ethnic profiling to take place be declared contrary to human rights standards.

This fact sheet outlines the key elements of this challenge, including the legal arguments being made to French tribunals. The briefing paper provides a summary of the quantitative and qualitative research supporting the case.