An Appeal for a National Debate on Reparations

On 8th October 2012, a group of associations invested in seeking reparations for slavery were invited to the official residence of the French government, Matignon, with the aim of setting up an interministerial meeting to begin discussions. Four days later, on 12th October 2012, Louis-George Tin, the president of the Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires (le CRAN), published an article in Le Monde calling for a national debate on reparations that was signed by a number of left-wing political parties (PCF, EELV), associations (see below), and public, political and intellectual figures (including Jack Lang, Eva Joly, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Olivier Besancenot, Doudou Diène, Françoise Vergès). Coinciding with Hollande's tour of Senegal, the president found himself being questioned by journalists over whether or not France was preparing to engage in reparations. Hollande's denial in the wake of Matignon's statement that it was 'very open' to discussions created media confusion, while the planned interministerial meeting (set for 8th November 2012) was cancelled. Further pressure has since been placed on the French state, notably by the CRAN, to engage in reparations. The May 10th ceremony, or the National Day for Remembering Slavery, the Slave Trade and their Abolitions, has often provided the necessary socio-political context in which make these claims. Since 2013, these calls have been joined by larger associations and organizations, such as the Ligue des Droits de l'Homme (LDH), the Comité National pour la Mémoire et l'Histoire de l'Esclavage (CNMHE) and the Ligue International contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme (LICRA)

Start date: 
2012CE Oct 8th
Outcome: 
The debate is still pending.