Report: DILCRAH

Combating racism and anti-Semitism

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From 19 to 25 March 2018, Education and Action against Racism and Anti-Semitism Week is a nationwide opportunity to give a powerful boost to educational initiatives to prevent racism and anti-Semitism, and defend and promote human rights and fundamental republican principles. Throughout the week, charities, schools, universities, sports clubs and cultural institutions will carry out actions aimed at reducing hate and intolerance. To support the initiative, the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research and the Interministerial Delegation to Combat Racism, Anti-Semitism and Anti-LGBT Hate (DILCRAH) have created an interactive directory of actions, which is accessible to anyone wishing to join in.

DILCRAH is in charge of devising, coordinating and managing French government policy on combating racism, anti-Semitism and hate crime against LGBT people. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of January 2015, it coordinated the drawing up of the 2015-2017 Action Plan against Racism and Anti-Semitism and the Action Plan against Anti-LGBT Hate and Discrimination, on the initiative of the French President. Meanwhile, on 2 October 2017, the French Prime Minister announced a new multi-annual plan to combat anti-Semitism for the period 2018-2021, reaffirming the need to “stand together - all of us, whatever our religious or philosophical convictions - to fight this vile beast which is anti-Semitism”.

Acting as an intermediary between institutional actors and organisations that defend human rights and combat racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hate, DILCRAH works with a number of government ministries. The Ministry of the Armed Forces, through the Directorate for Heritage, Remembrance and Archives (DPMA), is concerned in particular with the area of education and remembrance.

As part of its remembrance and defence education roles, the DPMA contributes to racism and anti-Semitism education, through:

  • its work with remembrance sites: coordinating the activities of the nine major national remembrance sites (HLMNs), which contribute to transmitting republican values and their contemporary relevance; running and supporting the national network of museums and memorials of contemporary conflicts (the MMCC network), which seeks to bring together, support and unify the actions of one hundred remembrance sites; participating in and supporting the network of Holocaust remembrance sites;
  • its work with young people and families: supporting projects carried out in schools by the trinômes académiques and organisations to give the younger generation a better understanding of contemporary conflicts (from 1870 to the present day); funding and running the network of 33 trinômes académiques within the Ministry of the Armed Forces; encouraging the ‘adoption’ of remembrance sites by school classes; cataloguing the MMCC network remembrance sites which offer an education programme for young people and families, in order to facilitate the process of raising young people’s awareness about the issues around remembrance and support remembrance tourism involving schools;
  • its promotional work, through the publication of the Les Chemins de la Mémoire magazine, which has a circulation of 23 000, and the website www.cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr, both of which are powerful levers for communicating about remembrance issues to a diverse public;
  • its contribution to combating discrimination, as a member of two working groups concerned with raising awareness about combating discrimination: The “History and Remembrance of Immigration and Contemporary Conflicts” working group, in conjunction with the National Museum of the History of Immigration, which looks at the practices of appropriation of national cemeteries where colonial soldiers and foreigners are buried; and the National Advisory Council for Traveller Communities “Remembrance Group”, whose work seeks to transmit the memory of the internment of Travellers in France during the Second World War.