PECAO project - Policy paper
The work of the PECAOs has highlighted several strengths.
The media has a pivotal position in antigypsyism. They are at the same time catalysts, unfortunately often providers, and therefore have a crucial role to play in the fight against antigypsyism. For this, it is necessary that the media commit themselves to be attentive to a non-stigmatizing use of the terms «Roma» or «gens du voyage» in particular in the treatment of news. The local press in particular must go and meet the people who are the subject of the article. The issue of the use of words is the same as that of naming properly, avoiding random use of the terms Roma, Gypsies, Travellers, etc. The same applies to the use of images, which still too often convey a stereotyped vision.
PECAOs have a role to play in the training and awareness of journalists and newsrooms. Such crossovers would be likely to create the same effects that we observed during the workshops with a young audience, namely to reduce the preconceptions and prejudices of journalists who grew up in a country marked by more than a century of widespread and accepted antigypsyism.
The other issue revealed by the work of the PECAO is the lack of moderation on social networks. Platforms such as account administrators where many antigypsyist comments are posted must be made to face their responsibilities. It is therefore necessary to train moderators. Semantic analysis needs to be taken further in order to determine the most frequent uses and to raise more alerts for moderators.
The involvement of public actors in France in prosecuting the authors of hateful content is unfortunately insufficient. Victims of antigypsyism support, especially from associations. It seems necessary to systematize the legal proceedings in this matter and to make known and train to the use of the Pharos platform.
The work of the PECAOs has also highlighted the existence of many content creators from populations that are victims of antigypsyism. It seems important that these actions, which often use pedagogical and humorous media that are particularly effective in combating clichés, be given greater recognition.
The success of peer education in the project was reflected in the enthusiasm of the young people we met, who asked many questions and were able to put the experiences of the PECAOs into perspective based on their own experiences. Intervening directly with young people allows for more empathy thanks to direct contact with the people concerned. This experience allows us to affirm, even if it seems obvious, that it is essential to allow access to the public and media sphere for people affected by antigypsyism. How many of them are journalists, editorialists, politicians, how many of them occupy a visible position in the media and institutional space today?