The feeling of having experienced discrimination is not decreasing in Seine-Saint-Denis, and has even increased compared to 2019. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the inhabitants of the department say they have been victims of discrimination in the last five years, up from 63% in 2021 and 56% in 2019, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the community. Results made public as the Departmental Observatory of Discrimination and Equality celebrates its first year.
At the forefront of perceived discrimination is “origin or skin color”. 37% of respondents say they have been “often”, “sometimes” or “rarely” victims of discrimination on this ground, a figure up from 2019 (32%). The areas where discrimination is then most felt concern the residential area (35%), religion (25%), political opinions (22%) and gender (21%).
Why this increase? On the one hand, the feeling is not necessarily always representative of the reality of the facts, but can mean that part of the opinion has become more sensitive to this subject. “There is an awareness almost everywhere and in particular in the public debate, which means that we will no longer put the word discrimination on a situation”, affirms Juliette Griffond, head of the Mission equality diversity at the departmental council of the Seine. -St Denis.
However, this greater sensitivity is not exclusive of a real increase in discrimination, but not necessarily on all subjects. “I think there is potentially an increase in territorial discrimination,” says Juliette Griffin, who has recently had a lot of feedback in this direction. She cites the case of a school outing organized at the Center Pompidou for middle school students from Seine-Saint-Denis as well as a referral from the Defender of Rights, which had highlighted the difficulties for young people in Seine-Saint-Denis to find a place in high school. In fact, according to the Harris Interactive study, 38% of respondents have already had the feeling of being victims of discrimination specifically because they live in Seine-Saint-Denis, compared to 33% in 2019.
This unequal treatment, whatever the reason, is first and foremost felt at work, by almost half of the inhabitants declaring that they have been victims of discrimination (49%). Next, as situations that generate discrimination, job search (41%), relations with the administration or public services (33%), the search for housing (34%) or relations with the police or the justice system (33%), relatively stable figures since 2019.
To fight against this unequal treatment, the department intends to strengthen its Caravan against discrimination, which this summer offered a point of access to the law with the possibility of starting a referral to the Defender of Rights, as well as information. The experience will be repeated in June 2023 with 25 stages instead of 17 this year.
Awareness sessions in college will also be continued and extended, as part of the “Young people against racism and anti-Semitism” scheme. “This gives them historical and legal content. They produced texts that were displayed with visuals. This year they will redo texts, an artist will work on forum theater, another on memes, ”explains Juliette Griffond.
The Discrimination Observatory will finally continue the testing carried out with SOS Racism, emphasizing those concerning young people, who are very involved in these subjects and who are particularly sensitive to discrimination. 47% of those under 40 say, for example, that they have been discriminated against because of their origin or skin color, ie 10 points more than for all the Séquano-Dyonisiens and Séquano-Dyonisiennes surveyed.
“We have a lot of testimonies that come back to us concerning young people or children, there is a stronger will to act, explains Juliette Griffond. This could be testing on schools, masters, leisure centers, sports clubs, cultural services…”
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