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CESEDA: The Crime of Solidarity

Help Refugees, 2018

I translated important French legislature on CESEDA into an article for Help Refugees.



Many French citizens are distressed that a country supposedly committed to the values of fraternity and solidarity has ruled to punish citizens helping those most in need. Protestors argue: ‘if solidarity with foreigners is a crime, then we are all delinquents.’

After petitioning from the movement known as ‘Crime of Solidarity’, the Constitutional Council considered whether CESEDA sufficiently recognised the sanctioned principle of fraternity, in equilibrium with the safeguarding of public order. The French Constitution 72-3 states: ‘The Republic shall recognise the overseas populations within the French people in a common ideal of liberty, equality and fraternity.’ In accordance with this, and the French commitment to the Declaration of Human Rights, fraternity must be extended to all regardless of race, sex, religion, nationality or political belief. Those simply extending the hand of such fraternity should not be punished as criminals. 

During this conflicted time, when the countries of the E.U. tear themselves apart over questions of immigration and many are enforcing stricter laws against migrants, the decision is being heralded as ‘an important victory for fundamental rights’, with potential ramifications across the entirety of French immigration law.'

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