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(Jun 02, 2014) The criminal court of Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, recently found a major provider of social housing guilty of ethnic profiling. (Un bailleur HLM condamné pour fichage ethnique [A Social Housing Provider Found Guilty of Keeping Files on Ethnicity], LE MONDE (May 2, 2014).) This decision is the result of an investigation that started in 2005, after a man named Frédéric Tieboyou filed a complaint alleging that he was turned down for social housing because he was of African descent. (Id.). Social housing in France refers to publicly subsidized low-rent housing, which is allocated to low-income families or individuals. (Qu'est-ce qu'un logement social? [What is Social Housing?], website of Alliade Habitat, a social housing provider (last visited June 2, 2014).)

Tieboyou had applied for a unit in a housing complex managed by a company called Logirep but was turned down for reasons of "social diversity," because, the company alleged, there were "already enough Blacks in the building." (Un bailleur HLM condamné pour fichage ethnique, supra.) The subsequent investigation found that Logirep kept track of the ethnic origins of applicants for the social housing it manages, a practice that is illegal in France. (Un bailleur HLM condamné à 20,000 euros d'amende pour fichage ethnique [A Social Housing Provider Fined 20,000 Euros for Keeping Files on Ethnicity], LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR (May 2, 2014).)

The company was sentenced to pay a fine of €20,000 (about US$27,200), as well as €10,000 to two civil rights defense organizations that had participated in the trial as civil parties ("parties civiles"). (Id.) The court did not find Logirep guilty of racial discrimination, however, making a distinction between profiling and discrimination, and finding that the company was not criminally liable for denying Tieboyou's application. (Id.) At least one of the civil parties declared that it would appeal that part of the decision, in the hope that Logirep would also be sanctioned for discrimination. (Id.)

Author: Nicolas Boring More by this author
Topic: Discrimination More on this topic
 Judiciary More on this topic
 Minority rights More on this topic
 Social welfare More on this topic
Jurisdiction: France More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 06/02/2014