On the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, France underlines its strong commitment to combating this serious form of crime and human rights violation. Such trafficking, which is thought to generate up to $150 billion in annual revenue, also represents a global security issue, fuelling corruption, irregular migration and terrorism.
As such, France has made combating trafficking a full-fledged public policy. After adopting a first national action plan in 2014, France is now committed to implementing its second national human trafficking action plan for the period 2019-2021. With its 45 measures, this plan aims to strengthen action at European and international levels to combat this serious form of crime.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs contributes to this effort by promoting the use of legal instruments aimed at strengthening international cooperation, including the Palermo Convention signed 20 years ago. It also works hard to develop close cooperation with the regions most affected by the phenomenon, particularly in Africa within the assistance project for the fight against trafficking in persons in the Gulf of Guinea countries implemented by Expertise France and co-financed with the EU, and in South-East Europe in liaison with the EU, the UNODC and the OSCE. Through its contribution to action in these two regions of origin of many trafficking victims, France supports both capacity building for States to help them combat trafficking networks (legislative frameworks, role of national coordinators, regional cooperation) as well as essential action relating to prevention, identification and protection of victims, communication and outreach. France particularly supports victim defence associations, NGOs and civil society.
Keen to raise public awareness of the fate of victim of this crime worldwide, France also contributes to the Blue Heart Campaign led by the UNODC, encouraging both States and individuals to get involved and support the fight against human trafficking. Moreover, France is the fifth-largest contributor to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. The Trust Fund supports assistance to and protection of victims on the ground, notably through grants to specialized associations. The French and Swedish foreign ministers have committed to strengthening cooperation between our two countries in order to fight human trafficking for sexual exploitation. This bilateral commitment includes active promotion worldwide of the abolitionist model for addressing prostitution.