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France — Ethnic classifications highlighted by new report

05 November 2009

The anti racism organisation 'SOS Racisme' will publish a government commissioned report today on ethnic classifications by France-based companies and public sector organisations.

Companies such as car manufacturer Nissan, Air France and Euro Disney are accused of categorising job candidates by their ethnic origins, which is illegal in France.

The inter-ministerial delegate for equal opportunities, Patrick Karam who was in charge of the research told French daily le Parisien "when companies carry out this kind of classification it is usually to discriminate. Ethnic classification is a dangerous thing because once you have asked people to define themselves by their ethnic origin you can do whatever you want with that information."

The report coincides with the government's current experiment on so-called 'anonymous CVs' whereby all ethnic and other personal information are taken out of job applications by outside staffing agencies and government job centres for a test period of six months.

However, SOS Racisme said that "we cannot experiment on this forever. Instead, the anti-discrimination law which was passed more than three years ago should be enforced."



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