Overseas Collectivity of Saint Barthelemy
Collectivite d'outre mer de Saint-Barthelemy
(Part of France)
Joined United Nations:  24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
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Updated 24 February 2013
7,332 (July 2012 est.)
Bruno Magras
President of the Territorial Council  
since 16 July 2007
French president elected by popular vote to a five-year term;
prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the
French Ministry of Interior; election last held on 22 April and 6 May

Next scheduled election: spring of 2017
President of the Territorial Council elected by the members of
the Council for a three-year term; election last held November
19, 2010

Next scheduled election:  2013
White, Creole (mulatto), black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East Asia)
Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses
Overseas collectivity of France; French Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs; Legal system is based on French
civil law
Executive: French president elected by popular vote to a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice
of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the Territorial Council elected by the members of the Council for a three-year term
election last held 19 November 2010 (Next scheduled election: 2013)
Legislative: Unicameral Territorial Council (19 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 18 March 2012 (next to be held in July 2017)
Judicial: Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (judges are appointed by the president from nominations of the High
Council of the Judiciary); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (three members appointed by the president, three
appointed by the president of the National Assembly, and three appointed by the president of the Senate); Council of State or
Conseil d'Etat
French (primary), English
Due to its inhospitable landscape and lack of freshwater, St-Barth never had a big Arawak or Carib presence. When Christopher
Columbus sighted the island on his second voyage in 1493, he named it after his older brother Bartholomeo. The first Europeans
who attempted to settle the island, in 1648, were French colonists. They were soon killed by Caribs. Norman Huguenots gave it
another try about 25 years later and prospered, not due to farming (which was near impossible) or fishing, but by setting up a way
station for French pirates plundering Spanish galleons. You can still hear traces of the old Norman dialect in towns such as
Flamands and Corossol. The first European colonisation of the island began in 1623 with the arrival of settlers from Dieppe. There
was a very brief takeover by the British in 1758. The island was given to Sweden in 1784 in exchange for trade rights in
Gothenburg. It was only after 1784, when King Louis XVI exchanged the island to Sweden, that the island's fortunes changed for
the better. This change of control saw progress and prosperity as the Swedes declared Gustavia a free port, convenient for trading
by the Europeans for goods, including contraband material. There are still many reminders of the Swedish rule – such as the name
Gustavia, St-Barth’s continuing duty-free status, and several buildings and forts – on the island. However, Sweden sold St-Barth
back to France in 1878 after declining trade, disease and a destructive fire affected the island. Slavery was practiced in St. Barts
under the "Ordinance concerning the Police of Slaves and free Coloured People" of 1787. The last legally owned slaves in the
Swedish colony of St. Barts were granted their freedom by the state on 9 October 1847. Since the island was not a plantation area,
the freed slave suffered economic hardships due to lack of opportunities for employment, In 1852, a devastating hurricane hit the
island and this was followed by a fire. Following a referendum in 1877, Sweden gave the island back to France in 1878,[12] after
which it was administered as part of Guadeloupe. On 19 March 1946, the people of the island became French citizens with full
rights. Many men from St. Barts took jobs on St Thomas in order to support their families. The island received electricity circa
1961. Tourism began in the 1960s, developed in the 1970s, and led to considerable international popularity beginning in the 1980s.
Today the island is known for its exclusivity and posh tourism. Saint Barthélemy was for many years a French commune forming
part of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and département of France and is therefore in the European Union. Through an
referendum in 2003, island residents sought separation from the administrative jurisdiction of Guadeloupe, and it was finally
accomplished in 2007. The island of Saint Barthélemy became an Overseas Collectivity (COM). A governing territorial council was
elected for its administration, which has provided the island with a certain degree of autonomy. The Hotel de Ville, which was the
town hall, is now the Hotel de la Collectivité. A senator represents the island in Paris. St. Barts has retained its free port status. The
collectivity is one of four territories among the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean that comprise the French West Indies,
along with Guadeloupe (200 km southeast), Martinique, and Saint Martin. Saint Barthélemy was for many years a French commune
forming part of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and département of France and is therefore in the European Union.
Source: Wikipedia: History of Saint Barthelemy
The economy of Saint Barthelemy is based upon high-end tourism and duty-free luxury commerce, serving visitors primarily from
North America. The luxury hotels and villas host 70,000 visitors each year with another 130,000 arriving by boat. The relative
isolation and high cost of living inhibits mass tourism. The construction and public sectors also enjoy significant investment in support
of tourism. With limited fresh water resources, all food must be imported, as must all energy resources and most manufactured
goods. Employment is strong and attracts labor from Brazil and Portugal.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Saint Barthelemy)
Until 2007, administratively, the whole island of St. Barts was a French commune (commune de Saint-Barthélemy) part of
Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and overseas département of France, and therefore part of the European Union. In 2003,
the population voted through referendum in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collectivity
(COM) of France.

On 7 February 2007, the French Parliament passed a bill granting COM status to both St. Barts and (separately) to the
neighbouring Saint Martin. The new status took effect on 15 July 2007, when the first territorial council was elected, according to
the law. The island has a president (elected every five years), a unicameral Territorial Council of nineteen members who are elected
by popular vote and serve for five-year terms, and an executive council of seven members. Elections to these councils were last held
on 1, 8 and 15 July 2007 with the next election due in July 2012.

One senator is representing the island in the French Senate, election was held on 21 September 2008 with the next election due in
September 2014. St. Barts became an overseas territory of the European Union on 1 January 2012, but the island's inhabitants
remain French citizens with EU status holding EU passports. France is responsible for the defence of the island and as such has
stationed a security force on the island comprising six policemen and thirteen gendarmes (posted on two year term).

The present head of state, since 15 May 2012, is President François Hollande, represented by a prefect appointed by the French
president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior. As a collectivity of France, the island's national anthem is La Marseillaise
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
None reported.
U.S. State Department
United Nations Human
Rights Council
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Freedom House
None reported.
None reported.
Ligue des Droits de l'Homme
2011 Human Rights Report: France (includes Saint Barthelemy)
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012

France is a multiparty constitutional democracy. The president of the republic is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Nicolas
Sarkozy is the incumbent. The upper house (Senate) of the bicameral parliament is elected indirectly through an electoral college, while
the lower house (National Assembly) is elected directly. Elections for seats in the National Assembly and for the presidency in 2007 and
for seats in the Senate in 2011 were considered free and fair. The Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) is the majority party in
parliament. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.

Note: The country includes 11 overseas administrative divisions that are covered in this report. Four overseas territories in French
Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion, have the same political status as the 22 metropolitan regions and 101 departments on the
mainland. Five divisions are overseas “collectivities”: French Polynesia, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and
Wallis and Futuna. New Caledonia is a special overseas collectivity with a unique, semiautonomous status between an independent
country and an overseas department. Mayotte became the 101st department on March 31, 2011. Citizens of these territories periodically
elect deputies and senators to represent them in parliament, like the other overseas regions and departments.
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16 December 2009
Seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth periodic reports of States parties due in 2008*

1.        On 28 July 1971, France ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
(hereinafter “the Convention”), which the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1965.

2.        In accordance with the Guiding Principles, and as recommended by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
(hereinafter “the Committee”), the aim of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth reports, which have been combined in this report, is
not to revisit all the information already provided, but to describe developments in domestic law and practice since the last periodic
report and update the data previously supplied.  On 13 February 2007, France provided an additional report containing information on the
implementation of several recommendations made by the Committee when considering France’s fifteenth and sixteenth reports.  This
report supplements the information already supplied and responds to the Committee’s observations and recommendations.

3.        This report brings together contributions from the ministries concerned with the application of the Convention. The Government
has also taken account of observations from the National Consultative Commission for Human Rights (CNCDH) and the High Authority
to Combat Discrimination and Promote Equality (HALDE).  A meeting was also held directly with the NGOs before the report was

128.        The Constitution also permits, with the consent of the electorate, transition from the status of an overseas département or
region to that of an overseas collectivity. On 7 December 2003, for example, the electorate of the municipalities of Saint-Barthélemy and
Saint-Martin voted in favour of separation from Guadeloupe.  On 15 July 2007, they became established as overseas collectivities.
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No Reports from Freedom House mentioning Saint Martin after exhaustive search of their database. Please forward any
information you may have regarding Freedom House efforts on behalf of Saint Martin to the Pax Gaea World Report editor at
the link below
Contact the editor »
No Reports from Amnesty International mentioning Saint Martin after exhaustive search of their database. Please forward
any information you may have regarding Amnesty International efforts on behalf of Saint Martin to the Pax Gaea World
Report editor at the link below
Contact the editor »
No Reports from Human Rights Watch mentioning Saint Martin after exhaustive search of their database. Please forward any
information you may have regarding Human Rights Watch efforts on behalf of Saint Martin to the Pax Gaea World Report
editor at the link below
Contact the editor »
The Labour Inspectorate of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy
Updated on: 19/11/2012

The Labour Inspectorate of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy is provided by two officers, an inspector and a labor inspector in charge
of corporate control and the intelligence of the public, and an administrative secretary in charge of Home and receiving users. Monitor,
inform, advise, conciliate, deciding missions labor inspection are extended as its means of action (right of entry into the business,
establish offenses ...). Workers labor inspection are subject to a number of obligations (impartiality, confidentiality of complaints, ...) and
rights, headed protection against obstacles to the exercise of its duties.

The labor inspector (or for most missions, the controller of the work):

  control the application of labor law (Labour Code, collective bargaining agreements) in all its aspects: health and safety, operation of
representative bodies (works councils, shop stewards, ...), hours of work, contract work, illegal work ...
  advice and information to employers, employees and employee representatives about their rights and obligations,
  facilitate the amicable settlement between the parties, particularly during disputes,

Labour inspectors also note the offenses relating to discrimination under Article 225-2 (3 and 6) of the Criminal Code, the offense of
sexual or moral harassment provided in the context of labor relations by Articles 222-33 and 222-33-2 of the Code, violations of the
provisions relating to the prohibition of smoking in public places allocated to collective use of Article L. 3511-7 Code of Public Health, as
well as other offenses mentioned in Article L. 8112-2 of the Labour Code.

The labor inspector is not empowered to settle disputes related to contract work: only the industrial tribunal is competent in this area.
However, the labor administration is involved in the approval of ruptures conventional employment contracts.

The labor inspector also has the power of decision: the employer must, under certain circumstances provided by the Labour Code,
obtain his permission before acting. This is the case, for example, in respect of:

  dismissal of employee representatives (staff representative, a member of the works council, trade union ...), the tribunal members,
occupational physicians, ...
  certain features relating to hours of work, for example the implementation of individualized schedules in the absence of representatives,
  youth work (exemptions from certain prohibitions)
  the Rules of Procedure.

The decisions of the labor inspector may be an administrative appeal (internal appeal - before the inspector himself - or escalation -
usually with the Minister of Labour) or legal recourse (with Administrative Court).
Means of action:

Agents of the labor inspectorate have an investigative powers that allow them to:

  into the business and visit, without warning,
  conduct an investigation, including interviewing employees, seeking disclosure of documents
  apply in the context of the fight against undeclared work, to persons employed in the business or in the workplace as well as anyone
they are required to take statements in the exercise of their duties, to justify their identity and address,
  use accredited bodies to check the condition of the premises and equipment,
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31 January 2013-1012 5 NEWS
The conciliator allows more often avoid going to court

The conciliator aims to find an amicable solution between two parties whether or not already before a judge. François Tressières takes
stock of its first six months of operation.

Six months after took office in as conciliator justice in Saint-Barthélemy (Volunteer mission assumed) François Tressières is preparing to
submit its first activity report the President of the Court Call of Basse-Terre which it depends. Anyone conflict with another person
natural or legal may appeal to the conciliator justice that responsibility of civil cases, if it preferred to obtain an agreement amicably and
to avoid a trial. The conciliator may intervene in many cases:

the problem of joint ownership, conflicts between owners and tenants, conflict between a consumer to professional problems
condominiums, quarrels neighborhood protest an invoice. "All small disputes that plague daily, "says François Tressieres.

In contrast, the conciliator is not responsible for this which is the justice of family affairs. There is nor for conflicts between employers
and employees, which fall within the tribunals. Finally, if dispute with administration public, it is mediator of the Community or Human
Rights Defender appropriate to use (See box). The use of conciliator is to the advantage parties, including because it is free and that
There is nothing binding. "If conciliation does not lead, we can always abandon it and go trial, "says François Tressières. It is also the
advantage of Justice, to bring down the pressure on courtsvery congested.

Maybe it is for this reason that "the institution judicial supports us more, "as in congratulates François Tressières, that comes from
training given by School stakeholders National Judicial (ENM), with its 13 counterparts Guadeloupe (It also relies on three years of
experience in the the judiciary, as expert at the Court of Appeal Lyon - a condition required to be conciliatory).

What conclusions conciliator Justice of Saint-Barthélemy he draws his six first months?

Without knowing your exact role, half of people who are presented him were wrong door. "Some confused with mediation pay, which is
requested by the court " François Tressières observed. "Or with the mediator the Community. Therefore I'm a little guidance "He smiled.
For the other half of all its role even been "useful". Mainly to solve problems neighborhood, boundary properties. But as disputes
between landlords and tenants or outstanding receivables.

"In most cases, conciliation saved them going to court. The parties sometimes come to write a statement of agreement.
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Stop Souza Ribeiro c. France, December 13, 2012, No. 22689/07
News Mon, December 14, 2012

Every year tens of thousands of removal are performed from Guyana, Guadeloupe and Mayotte (as Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy)
without judicial review in derogation of common law applicable in France, which provides the suspensive effect of appeals against
administrative distance.

Unanimously, the European Court of Human Rights held in its formation the most solemn just say that this emergency legislation violated
the right to an effective remedy under Article 13 of the Convention: case, the applicant [ 1 ] - a Brazilian national - had been deported to
Guyana before the Administrative Tribunal of Cayenne could decide on his appeal, in which he invoked the violation of right to respect
for family life. The Strasbourg Court held in section rejected the request by four votes against three ( ECtHR, 31 June 2011, No. 07 22
689, De Souza Ribeiro c. France ), the case was referred to the Grand Chamber; Cimade Gisti the third and LDH were involved. The
decision of 13 December 2012 reverses the previous one.

The Court considers that Article 13 in conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention "requires the state to provide the person concerned
an opportunity to challenge the deportation or refusal of a residence permit and to obtain a sufficient review and provide adequate
procedural safeguards relevant issues by a competent internal body providing sufficient guarantees of independence and impartiality. "

Citing plenty of third party intervention , the Court notes that expeditious practices indicate the circumstances of the case and extra
sweeps rituals arguments justifying a law of exception in overseas.

"[...], Who was arrested on the morning of 25 January 2007, the applicant underwent a APRF and was placed in administrative detention
on the same day at 10 am, only to be removed in the next 16 hours. It was therefore far from Guiana less than thirty-six hours after his
arrest, "on the basis of a reasoned decision succinctly and stereotyped certify" the superficial examination of the applicant's situation
made ​​by the prefectural authority. "

While saying "recognizes the need for States to fight against illegal immigration and have the necessary resources to deal with such
phenomena," the Court finds that this requirement does not justify "to deny the applicant the opportunity to have practical minimum
procedural safeguards adequate to protect against an expulsion decision arbitrary. "

The infringement of the right to effective remedy under Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights together with the right
to respect for their private and family life for so many people arrested in an expeditious manner and renewed since the addition overseas.

For the second time in 2012 [ 2 ], the Court condemned France to a question on the effectiveness of national procedures for immigration
and their operation. The French State must terminate the proceedings by the Court condemned plans including exceptions applicable to
foreigners overseas incompatible with respect for human rights guaranteed by the European Convention in all territories of the French
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Francois Hollande
President of France since 15 May 2012
Represented by
Philippe Chopin
Prefect since 16 November 2011
None reported.