In the lead-up to the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympics, a storm of controversy has erupted over the city’s treatment of its most vulnerable populations.

A scathing report released by “The Other Side of the Medal,” a coalition of 80 charitable organizations, has accused Paris of employing familiar tactics seen in previous Olympic host cities: the systematic exclusion of migrants, squatters, the homeless, and sex workers.


The report, compiled after extensive research and consultations, paints a grim picture of Parisian authorities’ actions.

It highlights a series of operations conducted by the French police to clear migrant camps, squats, and homeless encampments from the streets of Paris.

Shockingly, the report reveals that since the beginning of 2024, there have been 26 operations to dismantle migrant camps, nearly matching the total for the entire year of 2022.

The impact of these operations has been profound, with 1,967 individuals affected by the clearance of 10 squats used by migrants, including a former factory near the Olympic Village.

Many of these individuals were relocated to shelters outside of the Paris region, a policy defended by French authorities as a means of alleviating housing pressures in the capital.

However, “The Other Side of the Medal” report challenges the government’s assertion that these actions are unrelated to the Olympics. It criticizes statements by French ministers and police chiefs, labeling them as weak and unconvincing.


The report suggests that the crackdown is part of a broader effort to present Paris as a sanitized and “clean” city devoid of visible poverty or social issues during the Games.

One particular focus of the report is the increased police pressure on areas frequented by sex workers, leading to identity checks, detentions, and expulsion orders.

This crackdown has raised concerns about human rights violations and the marginalization of already vulnerable communities.

The findings of “The Other Side of the Medal” have sparked outrage and drawn widespread attention from both French and international media.

Support for the coalition’s efforts has come from various quarters, including the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, who likened the evictions to similar actions taken by previous Olympic host countries.

In response to the report, the Paris 2024 organizing committee has distanced itself, emphasizing that it is not responsible for social policies or policing.

The social affairs ministry acknowledged the concerns raised by the report and claimed to have consulted with charities regularly.

Meanwhile, the head of the Seine-Saint-Denis region, where much of the Olympics will take place, has called for increased awareness of the capital’s housing crisis.

Despite these responses, criticism continues to mount. Christophe Noel du Payrat, the cabinet director of the Paris regional prefect, dismissed the accusations leveled by “The Other Side of the Medal” as unrealistic.

He argued that the Olympics cannot be a panacea for all of France’s social ills, citing strains on emergency shelters and social housing in the Paris region.

As Paris prepares to welcome the world for the 2024 Olympics, the controversy surrounding the treatment of its most vulnerable residents casts a shadow over the festivities.

While the city strives to showcase its best face to the global audience, questions linger about the cost of hosting such mega-events and the impact on those who are left behind.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members


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