Thursday, November 10, 2011
The Council of Europe, a leading human rights group, has recently condemned the expulsion of Roma people from France last year. It has released a report declaring that the expulsion was a violation of the human rights of the Roma. France has argued that the repatriations were voluntary and that they did not forcibly remove anyone.
I found this article very interesting because I was abroad in Paris last fall when President Nicolas Sarkozy was deciding to remove the Roma. There was no national uproar. The French people were not really opposed to the idea because they see most immigrants and non-native born residents as competition for scarce jobs and a threat to their beloved culture. The expulsion did, however, strike a chord with most of Europe and parts of France because it is reminiscent of "Nazi-era deportations." This comparison is definitely an uncomfortable one, and something I hope Sarkozy considers before taking more action.