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France: Study shows extent of ethnic discrimination in access to employment

September 19th 2016

Defender of Rights launches study results

The Defender of Rights has launched the results of a call for evidence conducted in spring 2016 on ethnic discrimination in access to employment. These results illustrate the variety of challenges faced by people of foreign origin and the impact on their professional and personal lives.

Far from being an isolated phenomenon, discrimination linked to origin in the search for an internship or employment occurs "often" or "very often" to over 60% of respondents.

Multiple discrimination may take place based on characteristics that indicate a foreign origin - name, skin colour, religion - and often accumulate. A third of respondents consider having been discriminated against on at least three grounds of their origin. Those perceived as Arab testify particular prejudices attached to their supposed Islamic religion, while those who report being viewed as black declare that they are more often discriminated against because of their skin colour.

Given these differences in treatment, the rights to remedies are not being used as best as they could. Less than one in ten has taken steps to recognize their rights. The consequences of such discrimination on career paths are significant and reflect the unease engendered by years of fruitless search for participation in the labour market of their home country (80% of respondents are French). Resignation, denial, downgrading, expatriation plans ... these are among the many responses that illustrate the impasses of the current system, and remind us of the urgency to implement strong public policies to fight against such discrimination.

For more (in French), check the website of the Defender of Rights.

Read the study here.