Fighting against the trafficking in persons

The trafficking in persons, understood as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons” with or without a view toward sexual exploitation, has become a major international issue in the migratory question. The term encompasses prostitution, labour and the use of children for the purposes of mendacity, the relics of traditional slavery, forced marriage and migrant trafficking, at either the national or international level. The trafficking affects primarily women and young girls, in particular those originating from Central Europe and Western Africa.

The trafficking in persons has given rise to a large number of initiatives on the part of donors, and has been the focus of an Additional Protocol to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Crime, adopted in November 2000 [1]. However, the legal system’s toolkit against trafficking remains theoretical in many countries.

Therefore, French Cooperation is intent on taking action in the fields of repression, as well as professional, social or personal reintegration for victims (legal assistance, information and training centres, etc.). A special effort must be undertaken to contribute to recognising the victims of trafficking as such

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs contributes to stepping up the resources available to the criminal justice systems (aid in promulgating legislation in compliance with international legislation, support in drawn up a national action plan, training for the relevant staff members, etc.) and the NGOs involved in fighting trafficking (creating networks to connect the NGOs working in source, transit and host countries). Coordination amongst all governmental and civil society players is essential in fighting effectively against such trafficking.

France also supports awareness-raising and prevention projects, which must be carried out at different levels: local (awareness-raising for rural populations, with special emphasis on children, women and migrants), governmental (drawing up legislative texts), and media-related (prevention campaigns).

[1] Supplementary protocol to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Crime adopted in November 2000 opened for signing on 12 December 2000, in Palermo : shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs; (Art. 3, al.a)