The xenophobic anti-Roma campaign run by the French government following President Sarkozy’s discourse at the end of July has led to the brutal dismantling of numerous Roma camps, and to the expulsion of 1 000 foreign Roma people from the country within the last month.
This highly publicized campaign has shed the light on a French database called OSCAR ( Tool for Repatriation Aid Statistics and Control – “Outil de Statistiques et de Contrôle de l’Aide au Retour” in French), created by decree in October 2009. OSCAR aims at collecting biometric data (digital photograph and 10 fingerprints) of foreigners expelled from the country or even leaving it voluntarily, with the benefit of a small grant. In the case of EU citizens, the grant takes the form of a “humanitarian repatriation help” of 300 Euro per person, with an additional 100 Euro for each accompanying child. In such case, if the child is more than 12 years old, his biometric data are also collected and stored in OSCAR. These data are stored during 5 years.
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