Exposing the ‘Social Cleansing’ of Paris’ Homeless Ahead of Olympic Games

Exposing the 'Social Cleansing' of Paris' Homeless Ahead of Olympic Games

Exposing the ‘Social Cleansing’ of Paris’ Homeless Ahead of Olympic Games

The excitement over the preparation of the Olympic Games in Paris has been overshadowed by events showing the displacement of homeless people from the city and the regions around it. Critics have expressed deep alarm about this “social cleansing” sweep operation that began in April 2023 that has affected asylum seekers, families, children and other marginalized population groups. It not only deprives them of essential care and social connections, but also illuminates the authorities’ wish to paint the city as safe and clean during the international event, even at the expense of human rights and dignity.

Thousands Displaced, Dignity Compromised 

I have also documented that 12,545 homeless people were evicted from Paris and the Île-de-France region over the last 13 months, as stated by the collective Le Revers de la Médaille, in which 90 associations participate. Besides the homeless, other vulnerable groups subjected to this ‘cleaning’ process include sex workers, and drug addicts, who have been unlawfully removed from their source of community and access to medical facilities.

Hiding the Misery Under the Rug 

To support his claims, Paul Alauzy, a coordinator for health monitoring at Médecins du Monde stated that the authorities were engaging in ‘social cleaning,’ a process in which the people least wanted in society, and particularly the city, were ‘cleared out to create a sanitized look for the Olympics. It has become common for the displaced individuals to be bussed to temporary regional shelters, a situation which may be viewed as an act of addressing homelessness in the short presence but in the real sense there are deep rooted issues that are causing homelessness.

Calls for Sustainable Solutions 

The several projects coalesced in Le Revers de la Médaille reiterate the requirement for a total of at least twenty thousand homes throughout France with seven thousand homes in the Ile-de-France area as the practical solution to the homelessness issue. Paris City Hall has a plan which it has presented to the public, of creating a thousand ‘housing of emergency’, but this project has not been emblematic validated by its state representative.

Shifting Blame and Responsibility 

However, with the situation being that political, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other officials have said they are frustrated as the government has not supplied emergency housing options. They say the problem existed long before the Olympics and that this city goes above and beyond to serve the needs of the sensitive persons.


Again as Paris plans and prepares to host the Olympic tournament, the homeless in the city are a vivid example of vulnerable societal groups that require intervention and proper solution.

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