The Défenseur des droits is a Constitutional independent authority competent in 4 different areas: the Rights of the users of public services, (as the national Ombud) the Defense of Children’s Rights, the non-discrimination and promotion of Equality (as the National NEB) , and the issue of ethics in security services (police and other private security services complaints’ Commission). Moreover, the Défenseur des droits has a protection responsibility (instruction of individual cases in all his fields of competence) and a promotional activity in order to address the improvement of access to rights and promote Equality. The French institution has powers of inquiry and powers of intervention, such as : to resolve a conflict by mutual agreement by making recommendations or through a mediation/conciliation, to intervene in support of a civil or criminal transaction, to request disciplinary action against an security officer, to request observations before a court in order, and to recommend sanctions by the administration against a physical person or legal entity at the origin of discrimination. Its actions are supported by the work of regional delegates, 400 persons working on a voluntary basis which represent the institution all over the French territory.
The Défenseur des droits was enshrined in the Constitution on 23rd July 2008 and established by the Organic and Ordinary Laws of 29th March 2011. Laws of 29th March 2011. The institution has succeed to 4 distinct authorities: the Médiateur de la République (French Mediator/Ombud), the Défenseur des enfants (Children’s Ombudsman), the Haute Autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l’égalité (HALDE, equality and anti-discrimination authority), and the Commission nationale de déontologie de la sécurité (CNDS, national commission on security ethics).
Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body
|Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )|
|Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)|
|Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)|
|Recommendations on discrimination issues|
|Publications and reports|
|Research projects (including surveys)|
|Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)||92948||89846||82416||78822||73463||79592||86596||93371||95836||103066|
|Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)||91065||85838||80162||77338||71624||74571||81949||88464||91316||99095|
|Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media||2708||3376||5545|
Number of complaints received in the field of the fight against discrimination per year :
2010 : 3 055
2011 : 2 769
2012 : 3 132
2013 : 3 673
2014 : 4 535
2015 : 4 846
2016 : 5 203
2017 : 5 405
2018 : 5 631
2019 : 5 448
The Defender of Rights has three deputies to assist him in his assignment:
The deputies cannot occupy positions other than those for which they are appointed.
Each Deputy is Vice-Chair of their respective board and can replace the Defender of Rights as chair of the meetings of that board and represent him in her/his field of competence.
The Defender of Rights, while preserving the specific features and visibility of previous missions, has defined a transversal organization making it possible to develop to their fullest potential the powers conferred upon him by law. The services are organized into units grouped together in departments.
The Admissibility/Orientation Department : examines the admissibility and orientation (or re-orientation) of all the requests
Security Ethics Board
The Board in charge of security ethics is composed of:
Defence and Promotion of Children’s Rights Board
The Board in charge of the defence and promotion of children’s rights is composed of:
The Anti-Discrimination and Promotion of Equality Board
The Board in charge of the fight against discrimination and promotion of equality is composed of:
|Grounds / Fields||Employment||Education||Housing||Social Protection & Healthcare||Goods and Services||Other|
|Race and Ethnic Origin|
|Religion & Belief|
pregnancy, family situation, physical appearance, patronym, place of residence, state of health, genetic characteristics, way of life, sexual identity, political opinions, union activities, loss of autonomy, particular vulnerability resulting from a known or apparent economic situation