Jean-Christophe Rufin

Jean-Christophe Rufin

Jean-Christophe Rufin, (2013)
Born (1952-06-28) 28 June 1952
Bourges, France
Occupation Diplomat
Known for Member of the Académie française

Jean-Christophe Rufin (born 28 June 1952) is a French doctor, diplomat, historian, globetrotter and novelist. He is the president of Action Against Hunger, one of the earliest members of Médecins Sans Frontières, and the second youngest member of the Académie française. He was Ambassador of France in Senegal from 2007 to June 2010.

Private and public life

Early life

Rufin was born in Bourges, Cher in 1952. An only child, he was raised by his grandparents as his father had left the family and his mother worked in Paris. His grandfather, a doctor and member of the French Resistance during World War II had been imprisoned for two years at Buchenwald.

In 1977, after medical school, Rufin went to Tunisia as a volunteer doctor. He led his first humanitarian mission in Eritrea, where he met Azeb, who became his second wife.


Human rights activism

A graduate of the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po), in 1986 he became advisor to the Secretary of State for Human Rights and published his first book, Le Piège humanitaire (The Humanitarian Trap), an essay on the political stakes of humanitarian action.

As a doctor, he is one of the pioneers of humanitarian movement "without borders," for which he has led numerous missions in eastern Africa and Latin America. A former vice-president of Médecins Sans Frontières and former president of the non-governmental organization Action Against Hunger.

Report on racism and anti-Semitism

In 2003, Rufin was commissioned by French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin to write an in-depth report on the upsurge of anti-Semitism in France. He presented the final report [1] on October 19, 2004.

The "Rufin report" (as it later became known), as described by the US State Department,[2] concluded the following:

The report, as described by the US State Department,[2] recommended the following actions:

The report was criticised by Michel Tubiana of the Ligue des droits de l'homme, who accused Rufin of "acting like an arsonist fireman." Tubiana said that the focus on anti-Semitism created an "imbalance" in the approach to fighting all racism, and that if the recommendation became law, the umbrella group of the International Federation for Human Rights would be punished because it viewed Israel's treatment of Israeli Arabs as "discriminatory".

Selected bibliography



Non-Fiction Books


  1. Rufin, Jean-Christophe. "Chantier sur la lutte contre le racisme et l'antisémitisme" ("Report on the fight against racism and anti-Semitism"), presented on October 19, 2004.
  2. 1 2 "France: International Religious Freedom Report 2005", U.S. Department of State.

External links

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