Shedding Light on Racism Against Congolese in France: An Ongoing Struggle

Shedding Light on Racism Against Congolese in France: An Ongoing Struggle

The report from France about its application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination has been reviewed by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The French State Secretary for Victims’ Rights, Nicole Guedj, presented the report and stated that France was heavily and actively involved in the national and international struggle against racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia. 

This struggle was viewed by France and its government as a crucial component in the strengthening of democracy. A far-right lawmaker was accused of shouting “back to Africa” at a Black colleague who posed a question about migrant arrivals, causing chaos during a session of the French parliament. The administration was questioned by socialist France Unbowed party member Carlos Martens Bilongo in parliament over a rescue boat that is transporting hundreds of people in the Mediterranean Sea without a designated location to land them at.

Social Marginalization

The topic of France’s non-recognition of minorities, racism and anti-Semitic activities, the status of the Roma and Berber minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers, the ban on religious symbols in schools, the state of French overseas territories and departments, and other issues were brought up during the two-day discussion. Committee Expert Linos Alexandre Sicilianos, the national rapporteur for the report, stated in his opening remarks that the conversation with the French delegation had been productive. 

He had listened carefully to what the Experts had to say, and he would address their concerns in the closing remarks as well as in the written and spoken responses from the delegation. Along with representatives from the Overseas Ministry, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research, the Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Cohesion, and the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations Office in Geneva, the delegation from France also included Michel Doucin, Ambassador in charge of Human Rights at the French Foreign Ministry.

Media Representation and Stereotyping

French immigration policy is based on two sets of considerations for entry, temporary stay, and removal of aliens: respect for fundamental human rights, particularly human dignity, in accordance with France’s international human rights commitments; and a desire to stop illegal immigration. The major change as respects asylum policy is the enactment on 10 December 2003 of a new legislation on asylum, which is designed to enhance the reception and care offered to refugees, given the rising number of asylum applicants. The share of foreign families residing in public low-rent housing is twice as high as that of foreign families residing in France, according to the Anti-discrimination Research Unit research. It implies that the majority of immigrant households reside in public housing districts that are sensitive to discrimination and that segregation tends to push immigrant households toward the less desirable parts of the stock. There’s a chance that the “relegation” of some immigrant groups to the most dilapidated parts of the city was caused indirectly by allocation methods.

Paris 2024: Racism Concerns and Olympic Boycott

The Paris Olympics 2024 faces scrutiny amidst France’s deep-rooted racism issues. Calls for boycott stem from concerns over human rights violations and government surveillance. Recent incidents of racism in parliament highlight the pervasive discrimination faced by minorities. Charities urge action while far-right rhetoric further exacerbates tensions. France’s credibility on the global stage hangs in the balance.


In conclusion, A newly elected member of the far-right, anti-immigration National Rally (RN), Gregoire de Fournas, interrupted Bilongo, saying, “They should go back to Africa.” Yaël Braun-Pivet, the president of the lower house of the French parliament, then suspended the legislative session, stating later that the remark would be investigated. Charities have appealed to the French government to take them in or help find a solution. Since the pronouns “he” and “they” are pronounced the same in French, it was suggested that de Fournas may have been specifically criticizing Bilongo with his remarks, which drew criticism and censure. In addition to defending his statement and accusing opponents of “manipulation,” De Fournas’ party refuted any allegations of personal slight against Bilongo. Bilongo received an apology from De Fournas later on for “the misunderstanding my comments caused.”



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