Tuesday, May 12, 2009

France's plans for tackling racism and promoting diversity

Yazid Sabeg Commissioner of diversity and equal opportunity presented his plans to restore diversity and reintegration into the French society.

On May 7th Yazid Sabeg, selfmade millionaire and son of Algerian immigrants, handed over his program of action and recommendations for diversity and equal opportunities to French President Zarkosy. Commissioner of Diversity and Equal Opportunities, Yazid Sabeg, has presented his work with a month's delay. The 115 page report is divided into 76 action plans designed to promote, advise and regulate the diversity, by establishing what he calls a "new deal", addressing the foundations of the economy, the education, housing and politics.

The first part of the report is devoted to the revaluation of the youth. "France is not investing enough in his youth, which combines the disadvantages in terms of training, income and access to positions of responsibility" Referring " Intergenerational divorce ", the report shows that the poverty rate is five times more than thirty years ago. Because nearly 20% of the youth does not graduate, and France by 2015 will desperately need engineers, technicians, and scientists, the report considers a national pact for the access to training.

The second part, which is the source of the controversy surrounding ethnic statistics, is dedicated to promoting diversity and the fight against discrimination. Nicolas Sarkozy, in his speech on 17 December 2008 in Palaiseau, had hoped that France "is developing statistical tools to measure its diversity." Faced with the outcry of the proposal, the consensus seems reached, the report states that the objective is to complete the instruments and data already available to "characterize the discriminatory situations. It will eventually be collected by questionnaires and anonymous census surveys. An observatory of discrimination shall use the information for analyses.

This diversity, according to the report, will be promoted to all avenues of society. Also in the political institutions. The anonymous generalized CV will be used within political parties. The reports states that "The election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the States United showed the delay of the representativeness of the French political class. Of the 577 members, only 3 are immigrants from outside Europe, in the Senate they are only 4 on 343. It is also calls for the media to renegotiate their agreements for the hiring of people of diversity.

Finally, the third point of the flagship report entitled "A New Deal for the policy of the City" offers a series of measures to reinstate the "neighborhoods" in the city. This achievement is considered in line with plans for urban renewal, the de-isolation of certain areas, the access to schools to all, regardless of place of residence.

This highly anticipated "Action Program and recommendations of Yazid Sabeg received a mixed reception among unions and associations. The CRAN (Representative Council of Black Associations in France) welcomed the measures that will "finally make visible minorities full citizens," they see it as "a great day for the republican equality". Less lyrical are the French Confederation of Christian Workers (CFTC), they are "vigilant" about the tools of measurement set out by the Commissioner. Dominique Sopo from SOS Racisme is concerned about "the absence of strong proposals" and denounced the policy of "rule out the development of a policy against discrimination in favour of a policy to promote diversity.

Diversité quand tu nous tiens
French Minorities Push For Equality Post-Obama


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