Human Rights


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World Day against the Death Penalty – Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (10 October 2020)

On the occasion of the 18th World Day against the Death Penalty, France reaffirms its strong opposition to the death penalty everywhere and in all circumstances. It calls on all states that apply the death penalty to establish a moratorium with a view toward its definitive abolition and encourages all states to sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

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Human rights: a priority for France’s foreign policy

"France wants to set an example, not to teach others a lesson but because it’s our history, our message. Setting an example in promoting fundamental freedoms is our battle and a matter of honour for us."

François Hollande, President of the Republic – opening debate of the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, 25 September 2012

Human rights are defined as the inalienable rights of all human beings, irrespective of nationality, place of residence, gender, ethnic or national origin, colour, religion, language or any other status, and cover a multitude of themes.

The protection of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is central to the work of the United Nations, which asserts that these rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated (UN World Conference on Human Rights). These rights form part of the founding values of the French Republic as proclaimed in the preamble to the French Constitution. Respect for human rights is central to the exercise of democracy in France and to our commitment as a member of the European Union and of international organisations.

This commitment translates into political and diplomatic actions at national, European and international level and goes hand in hand with cooperation and support programmes on key themes.

France is particularly strongly committed to certain causes: universal abolition of the death penalty, combating impunity, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, respect for women’s rights, combating the recruitment and conscription of child-soldiers and combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In pursuit of its human rights goals, France works in partnership with the international community, international organisations and with NGOs both French and foreign.

As well as addressing these themes in particular, French diplomacy seeks constantly, through its efforts within multilateral fora and through its bilateral relations, to combat human rights violations wherever they may be committed.

Updated on : 01.03.13