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Government's commitment in fighting racism and antisemitism is a "moral and political imperative."

Government’s commitment in fighting racism and antisemitism is a "moral and political imperative."

Published on March 27, 2018
"Our duty is to keep up the fight. To keep it up by updating it." On March 19, during the Week of Education and Actions against Racism and Antisemitism, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented a national plan to combat racism and antisemitism (2018-2020).

spip_logoThe Prime Minister stressed the government’s commitment to this fight, which he described as a "moral and political imperative," adding that "you don’t build a safe, peaceful, united society based on hatred of the Other."

He detailed the four major elements that will characterize this battle in the coming years:

1/ Combating hatred on the Internet

As social networks and video-sharing platforms expand and proliferate, the plan offers ambitious measures to amend European and national laws to stop the dissemination of hatred via the Internet. At the national level, concrete solutions consistent with laws governing digital platforms will be implemented. They will include obligatory legal representation in France, transparency on efforts to moderate platforms, the simplicity of digital signaling systems to identify illegal content, and the closing of anonymous accounts that distribute illegal content.

2/ Educational efforts to oppose racism and anti-Semitism

Schools – with their mission of educating children by teaching them to think critically – are central to this plan. Beginning in elementary school, children must learn about the history and mechanisms of racism and antisemitism, as well as the resistance to hatred and extremism, through moral education and civics programs. Higher education and research can also contribute by enhancing knowledge and countering racist and antisemitic phenomena.

3/ Protecting citizens and supporting victims

In order to improve the care given to victims, a network of investigators and judges specially trained to fight hate crimes will be tested in September 2018. Six months later, an early-warning system for racist and antisemitic offenses will be operational. In addition, local public security departments and police stations will have dedicated offices to deal with racism, antisemitism and discrimination.

4/ Investing in new areas of mobilization

Regional and government bodies, associations, sports, media and European exchange programs are all new areas in which we must invest in order to step up the fight against racism, antisemitism, and discrimination. The sporting movement will be involved at every level (public service campaigns, education and civic training of high-level athletes, etc.) With regard to the media and communications, diversity must be showcased.

To combat the spread of populism and xenophobia in Europe, international and European cooperation must be stepped up, along with exchanges of best practices.

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