28 March 2012
An anti-chiffonnage (literally anti-"rag-and-bone activities") byelaw was adopted on 21 October 2011 by a French municipality, Nogent-sur-Marne in the southeast of Paris. It replaced a previous byelaw that had been adopted on 5 October 2011 prohibiting "scavenging" in public bins (fine of 38 Euros).  The anti-chiffonnage byelaw was suspended by the Administrative Court of Melun on 22 November 2011 after the Human Rights League launched a successful simplified appeal procedure: this leads to the temporary suspension of a decision, until a more in-depth investigation and decision is made by the Tribunal. 
Anti-begging byelaws have been adopted by different municipalities in the past few months in France. Human rights associations have denounced the resulting stigmatisation of certain social classes and minority groups. In Paris, the Police Prefecture has prohibited begging on the Champs Elysées Avenue, in a byelaw dated 16 July 2011 applicable until 6 January 2012, following a request by the Ministry of Interior, Claude Guéant. In a speech in September 2011, Guéant identified Romanian "delinquency" as a priority issue since it allegedly represented 10% of the cases brought before the Parisian courts. 
In early August, the mayor of La Madeleine (north of France, close to Lille), Sébastien Leprêtre, prohibited any gathering of people "in a prolonged and abusive manner", as well as sitting and lying on the main streets, between 1st August and 1st October 2011. A second byelaw had been issued prohibiting scavenging activities, with the byelaw being translated into Romanian and Bulgarian: it was argued that "no one shall ignore the law."  The legality of both byelaws was challenged before the Administrative Court of Lille after the Human Rights League lodged a complaint on 31 August 2011.  In Marseille, on 17 October 2011 (which is the International Day of Fights Against Poverty), an anti-begging byelaw has been adopted by the municipality. 
These byelaws are adopted regularly by some local authorities, especially during the summer when many tourists are visiting. They bear a striking resemblance to a byelaw that London's Westminster Council tried, and failed, to pass in the summer of 2011 (see http://www.statewatch.org/news/2011/apr/02uk-westminster-homeless.htm).
 Nogent prend un arrêté anti-glanage dans les poubelles
 Nogent-sur-Marne: morne plaine pour les pauvres!
 Les imprécisions de Claude Guéant sur la délinquance roumaine; Claud Guéant s'attaque à la délinquance roumaine
 La Madeleine: L'arrêté anti-mendicité divise la population
 La Madeleine: Arrêtés anti-menidicité inapplicables pour la LDH
 Arrêtés anti-mendicité à Marseille: des manifestants sous les fenêtres du maire
Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.
Statewatch does not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement. Registered UK charity number: 1154784. Registered UK company number: 08480724. Registered company name: The Libertarian Research & Education Trust. Registered office: c/o MDR, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH, UK. © Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals "fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.