Human Rights in France – the 43rd session of UPR (4th Cycle)

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a cyclical review process of all 193 UN Member States. Once every four years the human rights situation in each State is reviewed. The State under review declares what action has been taken and the measures to be adopted to improve human rights within the Country. During the UPR, specific recommendations are made by the Member States of the Human Rights Council to the State under review.

The 43rd UPR session was held from May 1 to 12 in Palais des Nations, Geneva. Among other Countries, France was examined for its fourth UPR on May 1, 2023. H.E. Isabelle LONVIS-ROME, Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities and head of the French delegation, recalled that more than 80% of the recommendations (139 out of 197) made in the previous UPR of 2018 had been accepted. She then presented an overview of the actions taken since the last UPR session.

France is engaged in the fight for women’s rights, through the ratification of relevant UN treaties, as well as the adoption and implementation of domestic law to reduce violence, harassment and inequalities. Moreover, a new plan for equality and a national strategy against conjugal violences was committed.

Concerning fight against LGBT discrimination, the delegation explained that a plan of action and a campaign was engaged.

Furthermore, France pursues its fight against hate and intolerance: an observatory of online hate (observatoire de la haine en ligne) was created together with other initiatives to reduce discrimination in general and regarding minorities specifically.

Multiple actions were undertaken concerning children and youth, including:  the adoption of the Pact for Childhood (Pacte pour l’Enfance) in 2019, specific measures to include children with disabilities in the scholar system, and the presentation of a plan to increase the diversity in schools on May 11, 2023.

After that, recommendations addressed to France by other States put light on the fight against racism, antisemitism and all form of discrimination. Many States recommended also to draw special attention to the rights of minorities, migrants, peoples with disabilities and women.

In fact, measures undertaken to fight gender violence were deemed insufficient, in particular regarding access to justice for victims of sexual abuse.

It was also recommended to reduce the use of force by the police, increase access to justice for the victims of nuclear test, and better address human trafficking, overcrowding in prison and disparity in education.