The promotion and protection of human rights and democratisation processes is also a major component in the foreign policy of France and the European Union.
The French jurist René Cassin (Nobel Peace prize-winner) was one of the main negotiators for the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, France plays an active part in the UN Human Rights Council, based in Geneva. Together with its European partners, it supports Council resolutions concerning regions and countries where human rights are seriously and systematically violated, and resolutions on such topics as extreme poverty, child-soldiers and forced disappearances. France also presses for the universal ratification of conventions that protect human rights, such as the one that established the International Criminal Tribunal in 2002 to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It combats impunity by supporting, among others, the special tribunal for the Khmers Rouges in Cambodia.
Within the European Union, France wishes to make the Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding.
In Strasbourg, the Palace of Human Rights,
the home of the European Court of Human Rights,
a jurisdiction of the Council of Europe
(one judge for each of the 47 member states)
© MAEE/ F. de La Mure
Within the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), established by the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, this country similarly monitors the compliance of its members, particularly the transition successor countries to the former USSR, with the commitments they have made to fundamental liberties and democratic institutions, for example by sending election observers.
At the same time, France is strengthening its own legislation on human rights (2004 law against anti-Semitism and racism, creation in 2005 of the High Authority to Fight Discrimination and Promote Equality [HALDE], to which victims of discrimination may directly appeal).
Source : France 2008, La Documentation française