Paris 2024: the Defender of Rights addresses the situation of students and the homeless

The Defender of Rights, Claire Hédon, announced, Monday January 29, that she had “taken charge” of the issue of requisitioned student accommodation and the evacuation of homeless people in anticipation of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (OG), which will run from July 26 to August 11

Paris 2024: the Defender of Rights addresses the situation of students and the homeless

The Defender of Rights, Claire Hédon, announced, Monday January 29, that she had “taken charge” of the issue of requisitioned student accommodation and the evacuation of homeless people in anticipation of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (OG), which will run from July 26 to August 11.

“There may be a risk for respect for rights and freedoms in a context like that of the Olympic Games, we are vigilant and we will investigate,” she told journalists in Paris, specifying that this self-referral also concerns the “freedom to protest” and “the use of artificial intelligence.”

The authorities have been accused for several months by associations of carrying out a "social cleansing" of the Paris region, to clear the way before the Olympics by emptying the streets of Ile-de-France of their most precarious populations: migrants in camps, workers' homes, homeless people. -shelters, sex workers, people living in slums…

The Ile-de-France prefecture defends itself

Accusations rejected by the prefecture of the Ile-de-France region (PRIF), which assured in December that the State had not set itself the “zero homeless objective” on the streets in anticipation of the Olympics. Conversely, she declared that she wanted to release “additional places” in emergency accommodation to leave a “social legacy”.

“The way in which homeless people are sent outside of Paris to accommodation centers, the way in which homes are destroyed” while “there is an obligation to rehouse”, all this raises the question of “ the invisibility of undesirables", estimated Ms. Hédon, whose "recommendations" resulting from this self-referral are expected in April at the earliest.

The investigation by the Defender of Rights will also look into the question of students, at a time when more than two thousand of them will have to be rehoused because their accommodation Crous, an organization which notably manages student residences, will be requisitioned for to accommodate firefighters, caregivers, law enforcement and members of civil security during the summer.

The idea is to see “what is the reality for students, when are they asked to leave their rooms, are they offered accommodation, etc.? », Knowing that, “in the summer, these young people do internships and student jobs”, underlined Ms. Hédon.

The “more general question of the freedom to come and go within the framework of the Olympic Games” as well as “the use of artificial intelligence” are also part of the fields of the referral, she specified, as is that of the “freedom to demonstrate.”