UN Slams “Insidious” Racism in France

PARIS – France’s ethnic minorities are trapped in social and economic “ghettos” because of an “insidious racism” tolerated by French politicians, a senior UN envoy warned Friday, September 28. “Racism is alive, insidious and clearly targeted at those ‘visible’ minorities of immigrant heritage, the majority of whom are French citizens,” UN independent expert on minority issues Gay J. McDougall said in a report drawn up following a 10-day fact-finding mission to France, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). “People who have worked hard, played by all the rules and truly believe in the principles of the French republic are trapped in socially and geographically isolated urban ghettos, with unemployment in some areas over 40 per cent.” McDougall, who travelled to poor, high-immigration suburbs of Paris, Marseille in the south and Strasbourg in the east that were hit by riots in 2005, is to report back to the UN Human Rights Council in March.