GENEVA, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The U.N. Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) urged France Friday to avoid a mass deportation of Roma and to strive for lasting solutions.
The CERD's 18 independent experts were concerned about the deportation of hundreds of Roma to Romania in the past few weeks, which France called a voluntary repatriation.
"Our concern is that the removal or return of the Roma has been done on a collective basis rather than examining their individual circumstances," the experts said.
The U.N. panel also called on the French government to combat the rise of racism and xenophobia in the country's political tones.
"The Committee is concerned about the increase in incidents and violence of a racist nature against Roma," the U.N. body's statement said.
France initiated a country-wide crackdown on Roma this month after a number of Gypsies attacked a police station.
It chartered two planes and deported 283 Roma Thursday despite fierce domestic and international criticism of its crackdown on travelling minorities. It so far has expelled 8,313 Roma this year.