Sunday, December 7, 2014

French homeless forced to wear 'yellow triangles'

Published: 04 Dec 2014 14:48 GMT+01:00

French homeless forced to wear 'yellow triangles'
The city of Marseille has been blasted for using Nazi-era tactics to identify its homeless population by issuing them with ID cards, adorned with a yellow triangle. The cards detail their health issues and will be worn visibly.
Authorities in France’s second-largest city have come under fire for issuing its homeless with ID cards that detail their health issues.

Human rights groups and government ministers have slammed the “yellow triangle cards”, comparing them to the Nazi-era Star of David that was sewn onto Jewish people’s clothes during the Holocaust.

“This is scandalous, it’s stigmatizing,” Christophe Louis, president of the homeless charity Collectif Morts de la Rue, told The Local.

“Wearing something that shows the whole world what illnesses you have is not only discriminating but it also breaches all medical confidentiality,” he said, adding that the symbolism in the design of the card is outrageous.

“Being identified by either a star or a triangle is horrific,” he said.

French human rights group La Ligue des droits de l’Homme said it was troubled by the resemblance “of this card and the yellow star that the Jews had to wear during World War II.” President Fran├žois Hollande’s government in Paris has also reacted sharply to the initiative.

“I’m shocked. Forcing homeless people to carry a yellow triangle indicating the illnesses they might have is outrageous. You don’t point the finger at the poorest,” Social Affairs Minister Marisol told French daily Le Parisien in an interview published Thursday.