15th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group
Geneva, 21 January to 1 February 2013
Statement by Norway
UPR of France
Thank you Mr. President,
Norway welcomes the presentation of the National Report by the delegation of France. We commend the achievements made since the last UPR, including as regards women’s rights and France’s work for LGBT rights both domestically and abroad.
However, we note with concern reports of what appears to be an increase in violence and discrimination against French Muslims and French citizens of North African descent. The lack of adequate statistics on this matter could make it more difficult to find corresponding solutions. While recognizing the historical reasons for avoiding distinguishing ethnic criteria relating to French citizens, we recommend that measures be taken to produce data adequate for combating discrimination and violence against minorities more efficiently.
Moreover, although the penal code of 2009 has improved prison conditions in France, we note that great challenges remain regarding the mental and physical health of many prisoners. We also note with concern the use of tasers (electroshock weapons), and of full body searches, when other measures would be equally efficient and more humane. We recommend that France consider ending the use of tasers and full body searches in prisons. Furthermore, regarding migrants and asylum seekers, we recommend France to limit the use of detention, especially when families with young children are concerned.
Fifteenth session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group
Advance questions from Norway:
UPR of France
- Norway commends French efforts to avoid incarcerating juvenile delinquents, and to find alternative ways for minors to serve their sentence. However, according to the CNCDH the correctional tribunals for minors are based on the adult model, thus de facto opposed to the ordinance of 1945 relative to minor delinquents. How will France ensure that minors are, in fact, treated as minors?
- The French Republic’s emphasis on the fundamental character of citizenship may lead to difficulties in establishing precise statistical data and thus hamper the search for adequate measures against discrimination and violence towards minorities. How does France propose to come around this problem and refine its statistical tools and methods, enabling more precise analysis?