T +33(0)388412560                    [email protected]

Ref. DC 029(2016)

Monaco: anti-discrimination provisions need to be strengthened and foreigners better integrated, says Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission

Strasbourg, 01.03.2016 – The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today publishes a new report on Monaco in which it analyses recent developments and outstanding issues and makes recommendations to the authorities.

“Despite several advances, such as the setting up of the Office of the High Commissioner for the protection of rights, problems remain”, notes ECRI’s Chair, Christian Ahlund. “These include gaps in the legislation against racism and discrimination and the failure to publish statistics on racist and homophobic offences”. 

Among the other advances achieved, the report draws attention to the awareness-raising and training initiatives in the area of combating hate speech, racism and intolerance which have been organised in schools and among judicial staff and police officers, and notes the tabling of a bill for the introduction of a civil union pact open to hetero- and homosexual couples. ECRI welcomes the fact that Monaco has approved the ratification of the Cybercrime Convention and is planning to make racist threats punishable.   

ECRI also notes with satisfaction the introduction of a reception plan for foreigners in Monaco and the setting up of a dedicated facility, but calls on the authorities to assess the impact of this plan and strengthen protection for foreign women against discrimination. 

However, gaps in the law remain, such as the fact that some racist and homo/transphobic acts are not expressly punishable or the fact that Monegasque law contains neither a general prohibition of discrimination nor the key components of anti-discrimination legislation. ECRI also calls on the authorities to co-operate with civil society in encouraging victims to lodge complaints.  

In its report, the Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission addresses several recommendations to the Monegasque authorities. The following two recommendations are to be implemented on a priority basis and will be the subject of interim follow-up by ECRI within two years: 

·         explicitly make racist motivation an aggravating circumstance for any ordinary offence; 

·         repeal the provisions requiring a majority of the members of the organs of trade unions and their federations to be Monegasque and French nationals. 

The report, including Government observations, was prepared following ECRI’s visit to Monaco in March 2015 [Press release] and takes account of developments up to 18 June 2015.

* * *

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national/ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

Contact: Estelle Steiner, Spokesperson/Press Officer Tel +33 3 88 41 33 35