en English

Humanity in Action France was founded in 2005 by Patrick Weil, immigration historian, Amaya Bloch-Lainé, communications consultant and Philippe Manière, who was then director of Institut Montaigne, a French think tank. They desired to create a platform for a new generation to learn about the complexities underlying issues relating to diversity, equal opportunity and social cohesion in France in a non-partisan, methodological way, and to work together to become informed leaders in these fields.

Today, Humanity in Action France organizes a range of programs with support from partners in civil society organizations, the French business community, municipal and regional governments in France and the European Union.


By 2010, Humanity in Action France had trained over 65 young people, 45% of whom are now students, and 55% young professionals. The average age of Senior Fellows is 26.

99.5% of French Senior Fellows are still in touch with each other, and with Humanity in Action France; 45% on a regular basis.

For 66% of them, the “debating culture” within Humanity in Action France is a central feature. 95% of Senior Fellows feel HIA France improved their knowledge in human and civil rights issues, and 72% state they have gained new tools to address them through Humanity in Action France.

For 42% of the Senior Fellows in 2010, Humanity in Action France has also meant a professional opportunity, such as the Pat Cox-HIA Fellowship in the European Parliament and the Lantos-HIA Fellowship in the U.S. Congress. Over 60% of the young professionals in the Senior Fellows network are involved in human rights issues today.

Key Developments


  • Humanity in Action France organizes its first Humanity in Action Fellowship, addressing the history and contemporary issues linked to diversity issues.
  • French Senior Fellows develop the HIA < Network France, which now involves over 60 alumni of the Humanity in Action Fellowship. The network organizes monthly activities in Paris and Lyon. It is part of the international Senior Fellow Network, involving more than 1,000 students and young professionals around the world.


  • Humanity in Action France begins participating in activities in partnership with other organizations, like the anti-homophobia B.Yourself soccer tournament lead by Paris Foot Gay, the Festival Rémois et moi et toi in Reims, etc.


  • Humanity in Action France organizes its first workshop for European civil society, “Diversity: how to encourage a European Debate,” and development of a Diversity Toolbox to facilitate debates.
  • Humanity in Action France organizes the first training for French Senior Fellows on the methodology of community organizing.
  • Humanity in Action France organizes its first Humanity in Action Fellowship in Lyon.


  • Humanity in Action France organizes its first Re:action conference about social networks and revolutions in the Arab world.
  • The French embassy in Washington sponsors Humanity in Action France's leadership of Exploring Diversity in France, a special discussion series at Yale University, Georgetown University, the Missouri School of Journalism and The New School. 


  • Humanity in Action France organizes its first training for adults and professionals on issues linked to discrimination and equal opportunities