Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons – Smuggling of Migrants
The second National Action Plan in Combatting Trafficking of Human Beings (le second plan d’action national de lutte contre la traite des êtres humains) 2019–2021 was presented by the government on October 18, 2019. This plan includes 45 measures and has the following strategic pillars:
Inform and communicate to prevent human trafficking
Define a strategy to identify the victims
Protect and assist victims of TIP
Strengthen enforcement to target traffickers
Coordinate the public action in combatting TIP
Reinforce cooperation at the international and European levels
Related Action Plans
Although no other national action plan exists, several actions defined in the 2nd National Action Plan Concerning Human Trafficking exist in other national plans of action and are included in various public policies
Measures 25 and 26 of the 2nd national action plan, concerning the extension of the experimental protection system for minors who are victims of human trafficking, was set up in Paris in the territories most affected. It supports for the creation of a safe and secure center for minors, additionally included in the plan to combat violence against children (November 2019) in measure 22 dedicated to the fight against new forms of prostitution of minors. The creation of a safe and secure center for minor victims is also carried by the national strategy for the prevention of delinquency 2020-2024 in its measure 13.2.
Action 17 of the 2nd national action plan installed youth mediators aimed at fostering a spirit of prevention, and social intervention teams in strategy areas as part of the national strategy for the prevention of juvenile delinquency 2020–2024 (Action 13.1), as well as of the national strategy for the prevention and reduction of poverty 2018 (establishment of a dispositive of mixed round-ups aiming to take children off the streets by accompanying the families and to end situations violating children’s rights).
Concerning the fight against trafficking for labour exploitation, Action 5 of the 2nd national Action Plan—which provides partnership agreements between MIPROF, the Labour General Directory (Direction Générale du Travail-DGT), employers’ interbranch organizations, and workers’ union organizations—and action 18—concerning the designation of advisers in the Regional Directories Concerning Companies, Competition, Consumption and Employment (directions régionales des entreprises, de la concurrence, de la consommation et de l’emploi, DIRECCTE)—are also part of the national plan to combat illegal employment 2019–2021 (PNLTI) coordinated by the Ministry of Labour. Action 24 “specializing care and lodging facilities into the national dispositive for the reception of asylum seekers” is present in the national strategy for the reception and the integration of refugees presented by the inter-ministerial committee for integration on June 5, 2019 and coordinated by the inter-ministerial delegate for the reception and the integration of the refugees.
OTHER STRATEGIES RELATED TO CHILD PROTECTION:
The 2019-2023 National Strategy to combat the worst forms of child labor and its operational action plans, that aim at ensuring an enhanced protection of children against child labor through the prevention, protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims.
The National Child Protection Strategy 2020-2024 and its operational action plan aim to increase the protection of children by:
Reducing the number of child victims of violence;
Increasing the rate of access of children to care structures;
Increasing the number of convictions of perpetrators of violence of all kinds;
Increasing the effectiveness of interventions;
Inducing a change in the behavior of all stakeholders.
In progress: the development of a national action plan to combat violence against children. The Ministry in charge of labor policies has developed a strategy to combat the worst forms of child labor.
Institution(s) in charge of identifying VOTs or traffickers on the field
Various stakeholders are in charge of identifying victims in the field: NSAs, NGOs, institutions, and sometimes the victims themselves.
The Central Office Against Trafficking in Human Beings— OCRTEH—is in charge to lead and coordinate the operations concerning the repression of trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation.
The Central Office for Repression of Violence Against People— OCRVP—includes the Central Group in Charge of Minor Victims (groupe central des mineurs victims- GCMV) —which is in charge to fight against sexual abuses on minors. The group mainly targets offences linked to child pornography and sexual tourism.
The Central Office for Combatting Illegal Labour—OCLTI—is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and is the backbone of the interministerial global and efficient approach against severe labour exploitation which includes trafficking in human beings. The Central Office for Combating Illegal Employment
The Unaccompanied Minors Mission coordinates the national dispositive of protection and of orientation for unaccompanied minors.
Agencies Responsible for Border Management
The Central Directorate of Border Police—DCPAF— includes a branch against irregular migration and territorial services combatting all organized forms of irregular migration. DCPAF acts on the national territory and on the French overseas departments and territories through its 7 zonal directorates. In the combat against all organized forms of irregular migration (networks, illegal workshops, employment of illegal foreign nationals, fabrication of false documents, etc.), DCPAF’s operational framework is led by the OCRIEST and includes its 45 mobile research brigades (BMR) and its 8 branches of BMR, investigation units with zonal jurisdiction competences.
Specialized Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) Unit
The mission of the Central Office for Repression of Irregular Migration and Employment of Illegal Foreign Nationals—OCRIEST—aims to combat networks supporting irregular migration, illegal employment of legal and/or illegal foreign nationals, and documentary fraud resulting of these actions. OCRIEST works under authority of the Ministry of Interior, overseas territories, and local authorities.
Article 2 of the inter-ministerial decree installing OCRIEST (modified on December 28, 2016—No. 2016-1957) declares that its mandate covers the “offences relative to the entrance, the circulation and the illegal stay of foreign nationals in France, the employment of foreign nationals without work permits, forgery and use of forged documents in order to commit the above-mentioned offences as well as trafficking of identity and travel documents.”
OCRIEST is responsible for:
Combatting irregular migration networks operating on the national territory
Combatting structured networks that employ illegal foreign nationals without work and/or residence permits
Combatting forgery networks supporting irregular migration and illegal employment
Coordinating at the national level all the actions of stakeholders that participate to the dismantling of irregular migration networks, employment of illegal foreign nationals, or forgery of documents facilitating those infractions
Coordinating international actions within the area mentioned
Analyzing the pressure of irregular migration
Coordination committee or task force
Inter-ministerial Mission for Protecting Women Against Violence and for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (MIPROF)
MIPROF was established by the inter-ministerial committee of women’s rights on November 30, 2012. It results from a decree presented in the council of ministers on January 3, 2013 amended by the decree of August 11, 2016.. MIPROF is placed under the minister in charge of women’s rights authority.
MIPROF has three main functions:
To define a national plan on trainings for professionals who work on the issue of violence against women and to launch training tools
To take the role of the observatory on violence against women through its mission to “reunite, analyze and report information and data about violence against women”
To coordinate nationally efforts to combat trafficking in human beings.
For more information: MIPROF activity report (2013–2017) (available in French only)
Specialized Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) Units
The Ministry of the Interior has five specialized central judicial police offices that may be called upon to deal with cases of human trafficking depending on the type of exploitation of the victim. The role of these central offices is essentially to coordinate investigative and law enforcement action throughout the country in their respective areas of competence. These central offices are the following:
France is a country of destination and transit for trafficked persons. The trafficking situations might take various forms. Traffickers usually exploit foreign victims, but a few numbers of French victims have also been identified. Foreign victims usually come from Eastern Europe, western and northern Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Nigerian women represent the majority of the trafficked victims for sexual exploitation. The French authorities have explained that these Nigerian victims are usually forced by their traffickers to seek asylum in order to legally obtain a visa. In doing so, the traffickers can easily control and exploit maintain their victims. Traffickers usually use women and children for domestic labour. In some cases, traffickers send for members of their family in Africa to come to work for them. The Nigerian Trafficking in Human Beings (TIP) networks follow the same roads of human trafficking and drug trafficking through Libya and Italy to bring women and girls to France. Traffickers also target illegal workers already in France and in recent years have exploited unaccompanied minors who arrive in the country.
Main Trends and Figures
In 2016 and 2017, 1,593 persons have been identified as victims of smuggling and/or human trafficking. Most are women: 8% were specifically victims of TIP (according to Article 225-4-1 of the Penal Code), 64% were victims of an offence related to sexual exploitation, and 21% were victims of labour exploitation. Of the identified victims, 29% were minor, and 59% were foreign nationals. During the same period, 2,446 persons were prosecuted for a minimum of one offence for traffic or exploitation of human beings. Of these, 75% were men of foreign nationalities. The number of persons convicted between 2016 and 2017, 1,525, is lower than the number of victims. Between 2013 and 2017, traffickers were mainly men (72%), and 61% were foreign nationals (36% were Nigerian). In 2019, 892 victims were identified as victims of labour exploitation. This constitutes a slight decrease in comparison with the 950 identified victims in 2018. Of those, victims of labour exploitation, 175 were victims of TIP and 717 were victims of sexual exploitation. In some cases, the statistics collected do not indicate if the victims of sexual trafficking were minors or adults
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM) Hotlines
TEH/TIM (Dispositif Ac.Sé)*
0 825 009 907 (from France)
+33 0 492 15 10 51 (from overseas)
Others (Children protection/ assistance)
*Ac.Sé is an assistance line for professionals who work with victims, not an emergency service line for victims.
Gender-based and Sexual violence emergency hotline- 3919
Measures to Detect Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) Cases Along the Borders
A training module concerning the identification of TIP victims has been put together by the Central Directorate of Border Police—DCPAFV—based on teaching tools developed by Frontex agency.
Concerning borders control. When a person arrives at the country border, a police officer who questions their identity determines the next step (non-admission, receipt of an asylum request, protective measure for a minor). When during a second line assessment a case of TIP is suspected, the service in charge of combatting TIP and SOM networks (mobile research brigades—BMR) must be called in immediately to hear the victim and start the investigation. Persons who are not allowed to enter the country are transferred to a waiting zone where Red Cross personnel as well as border police officers in charge of following up on their situation will establish a contact with them. At that time, indicators of TIP can be detected.
Concerning visa issuance. Applicants must show the necessary documents about the purpose of their travel to the consular services. The consular officers will interview applicants to verify their good faith and integrity. In case of any doubt, the officers can verify some of the information concerning the persons that will receive and take care of the applicant in France. The officers have access to a database in which some individuals are flagged—those registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS) or in the wanted persons list. Consular and embassy visa services pay particular attention to documentation forgery (travel document authenticity, civil registration documents, socio-professional supporting documents) when identifying TIP victims or persons implicated in TIP. Particular attention is also paid to visa requests concerning children (verification of the parental authorization for leaving the country, limited validity for the visa, personal appearance) and for visas concerning certain professional activities (for example, dancer, model).
The Combatting Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants Unit (Unité de coordination de la lutte contre le trafic et l’exploitation des migrants) is responsible for gathering and sharing operational information in the area of combatting organized crime that promotes irregular migration in all its forms (networks, illegal work, criminal activities, human exploitation).
According to the authorities, combatting networks is one of DCPAF priorities through OCRIEST and its 45 mobile research brigades nationwide. One Mobile Brigade of Intervention (BMI) is deployed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in the main airport platform. This unit is composed of 17 officers who specialize in detection of forged documents, risky provenances, and irregular migration flux. The Ministry of Interior’s international cooperation directorate can also inform DCPAF in real time on the arrival of passengers with risky migratory profiles as well as the presence of potential traffickers. The BMI also cooperates with airlines and “Aéroport de Paris” security services.
National Referral mechanisms and/or Standard Operating Procedures related to TIP and SOM
France does not have a national referral mechanism. Decree No. 2007-1352 of September 13, 2007 provides that law enforcement agencies refer persons identified as victims of trafficking to specialized associations. Referral is based either on cooperation systems that may have been set up at the local level, which are still rare, or on links forged between specialized associations and certain members of the investigating services.
In 2020, MIPROF initiated a multidisciplinary working group on creating a national referral and identification mechanism for victims of trafficking (MNIO).
Law Enforcement Agencies Responsible for Investigating Cases of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM)
The role of the five central offices is essentially to coordinate investigative and law enforcement action throughout the country in each of their areas of expertise. This coordination is done through a common referral with the police services or gendarmerie units. The central offices also collaborate with foreign investigation agencies. They meet once a year to coordinate their Action Plan.
The Central Office Against Trafficking in Human Beings (OCRTEH). This office, under the umbrella of the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ) of the General Directorate of the Judicial Police (DGPN), combats trafficking in human being offences related to sexual exploitation and procuring. It centralizes all information that might facilitate the research of TIP for sexual exploitation networks and coordinates the nationwide operations.
The Central Office for Repression of Irregular Migration and Employment of Illegal Foreign Nationals (OCRIEST). This office, which is under the umbrella of the central directorate of the border police (DCPAF) of the General Directorate of the Judicial Police (DGPN), combats irregular migration networks, structured networks employing foreign nationals without legal work permits and/or residence permits, and forgery networks supporting irregular migration and illegal employment. It coordinates international actions in this area and analyses irregular migration flux and illegal labour. According to the authorities, given the nexus between irregular migration and trafficking, it is also competent in the area of TIP.
Central Office for Combatting Illegal Labour (OCLTI). This office, which is under the umbrella of subdirectorate of the judicial police (SDPJ) of the General Directorate of the National Gendarmerie (DGGN), combats offences linked to illegal labour exploitation in all its forms and coordinates investigations at the operational and national level. It is also competent in the area of TIP used for labour exploitation.
The Central Office Combatting Itinerant Crime (Office central de lutte contre la délinquance itinérante - OCLDI). This office, attached to SDPJ of the DGGN, combats offences linked to delinquency and crime committed in organized and itinerant groups in various places on the territory. It is therefore competent on the questions of TIP managed by itinerant networks.
The Central Office Combatting Environmental and Public Health Harms (Office central de lutte contre les atteintes à l’environnement et à la santé publique -OCLAESP). This office, which is attached to SDPJ of the DGGN, combats offences linked to environmental issues and public health. It also combats TIP for organ trafficking.
Identity and Travel Documentation Investigation and Forensic Lab
France has four organizations in charge of police forensic under the Ministry of Interior:
The Technical and Central Forensic Service of the Police (SCPTS) manages two national digitalized apps for identification. The service works on the order of police or prosecutors and also advises and assists local national police.
The Forensic National Institute of Forensic Police (Institut national de police scientifique - INPS). The institute runs multidisciplinary labs so tests can be conducted resolved quickly on one seal with the minimum risk of contamination.
The Forensic Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN) has a Department for Documents (DCT) that conducts document analysis. This operational unit works for magistrates and requesting units (central offices, research units, brigade, and police stations). DCT also organizes trainings on document fraud and control.
The Central Office for Repression of Irregular Migration and Employment of Illegal Foreign Nationals (Office central pour la répression de l’immigration irrégulière et de l’emploi d’étrangers sans titres- OCRIEST) : This unit, which has a mobile brigade of intervention (BMI) deployed at Charles de Gaulle Airport, is composed of 17 officers who specialize in the detection of forged documents, risky provenances, and irregular migration flux.
Technical Working Groups
MIPROF has put together several working groups as defined in the National Action Plan.
A working group has been set up to elaborate an experimental convention on child victims of TIP and the protection based on geographic distancing and their care by specialized educators. As part of this convention, an ad hoc working group has been created to study more specifically the juridic aspect of the issue of minor victims. The group is composed of institutional stakeholders: Paris prefecture of police, juvenile prosecution service of the Paris regional court (tribunal de grande instance de Paris), OFPRA, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and international development, the youth welfare office (aide sociale à l’enfance), the Police Youth Protection Directorate (Direction de la protection judiciaire de la jeunesse) and NSAs (bar council of Paris, the NGOs Hors la Rue and le Bus des Femmes). On February 8, 2021, a notification from the Ministry of Justice was distributed to all jurisdictions of the court of appeal and judicial tribunals in views of extending the Parisian experimental system for the Ccre and protection of minors who are victims of trafficking.
The National Monitoring Centre of Delinquency and Penal Responses (observatoire national de la délinquance et des réponses pénales—ONDRP) and MIPROF have developed an original source of information from NGOs specialized in accompanying victims of TIP. For four years, an investigation concerning victims of TIP that are assisted by French NGOs has been led by these two organisations, in partnership with the member organisations of the collective Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings (Ensemble contre la traite des êtres humains). This investigation reports some facts observed during these last years and is sustained as part of the implementation of the 2nd national Action Plan against TIP. The results were presented at international conferences (International Forum on Migration Statistics in Egypt). MIPROF and ONDRP presented the 4th edition of Study of TIP victims assisted by NGOs in France in 2019 (Enquête sur les victimes de la traite suivies par les associations en France en 2019) in 2020.
The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNDCH) has an ad hoc working group composed of expert members. Members from civil society (NGOs, syndicates) can join working groups in their area of specialty. Permanent working groups cover the following areas:
Trafficking in human beings
Racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism
Social responsibility of companies
Combat against Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Intersex (LGBQI) hate
Agency in charge of TIP and SOM data collection and processing
In 2015, the statistical services of the Ministries of Justice and Interior started work on data reconciliation. To create a statistic tool (Action No. 20 of the National Action Plan), a working group co-led by the ONDRP—an independent organization— and MIPROF—that brings together the Ministries of Justice and of the Interior as well as NGOs members of the collective Ensemble contre la traite (Together against TIP)— put together a series of statistical indicators for quantifying TIP victims at various stages of a procedure (identification, prosecution, and conviction). The work initiated within the framework of the first action plan related to the collection, harmonization and dissemination of administrative statistics concerning the activity of the security forces, justice, prefectures and labour inspection, is continued within the framework of the 2nd action plan.
The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) is the independent national rapporteur on trafficking in human beings. In April 2020, CNCDH was mandated for a provided a second mandate, as defined in the National Action Plan Against Trafficking in Human Beings.
In 2017, the CNCDH has drawn up a mixed assessment of the implementation of the NAP. Thus, although a number of provisions have been adopted, implementation has fallen short of the objectives. In particular, the CNCDH expressed concern that the public authorities have focused their efforts on combating trafficking for sexual exploitation and that not enough has been done to improve the identification, protection, and care of victims. Visit the evaluation.
In April 2020, it made 24 recommendations for implementing a national referral mechanism, an essential tool for preventing trafficking and exploitation of human beings. Read the April 2020 notice and consult the CNCDH’s evaluation, November 2019
Protection and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking Agencies
Competent Authority and Mechanism to Identify Victims of Trafficking
According to the Ministry of Interior’s May 19, 2015 directive, the formal identification of potential trafficking victims falls exclusively to the police and gendarmerie once they suspect that a national foreigner is a victim of TIP. They must expedite an investigation to determine if the person really is a victim of TIP.
ASSISTANCE SERVICES AND CONTACTS
Victims of trafficking who have started an action for the regularization of their stay as part of their cooperation in legal proceedings against traffickers can be eligible for protection and social support from specialized NGOs. (CESEDA Articles R316-6 to R316-6.)
The national Ac.Sé, is a network of 70 partners who offer accommodation and support geographically distant from the place of residence of the victim of trafficking in danger or in great vulnerability; and acts as a resource center for professionals in contact with victims;
The national Ac.Sé system is an integral part of the protection measures for victims of trafficking in France. It was established by Decree No. 2007-1352 September 13, 2007 relating to the admission to residence, the protection, the reception and the accommodation of foreign TIP victims. The 2nd national Action Plan for combatting trafficking in human beings 2019–2021 mentions Ac.Sé as a protection tool for TIP victims in France. See Ac.Sé brochure/activity report 2019.
Other NGOs and institutions contact details can be found at: CARE + leaflet
Ministry of Women, National Solidarity, and the Family and Humanitarian Action - Ouagadougou, Bobo, Dori - Women, Children, All;
KEEGO Association (West Africa Network)
Association Jeunesse pour le Bien-être Familiale (AJBF) - Ouahigouya - Minors
Talitha Kum - Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso, Banfora - Minor, Women, All
Association Hèrèdjigui (Centre en construction) - Dédougou - Minors
PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
RED CROSS Burkina - Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso, Fada N’gourma, Dori - Children, Women, All*
Association Jeunesse pour le Bien-être Familiale (AJBF) - Ouahigouya - Minors
Talitha Kum - Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso, Banfora - Minor, Women, All
Association Hèrèdjigui (Centre en construction) - Dédougou - Minors
Ministry of Women, National Solidarity, and the Family and Humanitarian Action - Ouagadougou, Kadiogo, Burkina Faso - Minor, Women, All
Ministry of Youth and Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship
Association Jeunesse pour le Bien-être Familiale (AJBF) - Ouahigouya - Minors
Talitha Kum - Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso, Banfora - Minor, Women, All
Association Hèrèdjigui (Centre en construction) - Dédougou - Minors
Keego RAO Association - Minor, Women, All
International Cooperation Agreements - Cross Border and Extradition Treaties
At the international and regional levels, besides its agreements with the UN and the EU, France has signed the following agreements:
Law 149/99 of August 31, 1999 about international judicial cooperation in criminal matter defines the principal forms of cooperation on extradition and judicial assistance; it states that the principle of reciprocity should be at the base of all cooperation. France is a party in the European Council Convention on extradition and judicial assistance and has signed several bilateral or regional agreements about international cooperation on criminal matters. (available in English/ French)
Other agreements of extradition: France has signed bilateral agreements of cooperation on extradition with 50 countries. Of the 50, 11 Western African countries are concerned.
INTERPOL—Europol: Simultaneously to the implementation of the central offices, the central directorate of the judicial police (DCPJ) acquired an International Relations Unit (Division des relations internationals—DRI). One of its fundamental mission is to coordinate operational police cooperation, which until now has been fragmented among different entities. BCN France has been established in 1928, it became the bureau sirène France in 1995, the Europol National Unit (UNE) in 1996 (expressly mentioned by CPP art. D8-2). The DRI includes:
A section of operational police cooperation (SCCOPOL) responsible for the exchange of information 24/7 with at its head a police commissioner and a superior officer of the national gendarmerie
A service responsible for European and international cooperation actions (SCACEI), specifically in charge of the institutional framework linked to the functioning of INTERPOL, Europol, and SCHENGEN
An administrative and management section that includes an IT unit and a translation pool
At the bilateral level, France is a signatory of the following agreements:
France has signed about 60 bilateral agreements concerning residence and employment.
General presentation of the bilateral agreements: France has signed agreements with Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Cape Verde to establish a coherent management of the migratory flux adapted to both signatory countries’ needs and to the migratory profile of the country partner. √ Bilateral agreements concerning professional mobility: some of the bilateral agreements foresee particular modalities to favor the professional mobility of foreign nationals (Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cape Verde).
Bilateral agreements regarding circulation, residence, and employment: Agreements with Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco include stipulations concerning the circulation, residence, and employment of their national citizens. Several sub-Saharan African countries have signed similar agreements with France. Bilateral agreements of some Sub-Saharan African countries
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION/REGIONAL COOPERATION
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development participates in numerous actions through voluntary contributions to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ministry’s contribution to the UN Trust Fund for TIP victims has quadrupled since the creation of the fund, being 100,000 euros in 2016. In 2015, it contributed of 150,000 euros to UNODC’s global programme against trafficking in human beings.
Between 2013 and 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development launched the Primary Solidarity Fund (FSP) for “The support of the fight against trafficking in human beings in the states of the Gulf of Guinea” targeting Benin, Cameroun, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. The fund endowed 800,000 euros. One goal was to reinforce regional cooperation between magistrates. The project also aimed to develop NSAs’ abilities to assist TIP victims. A French technical expert was based in Lomé (Togo) to oversee the implementation of the fund. As an example, support was given to the Togolese authorities concerning the adoption of an anti-trafficking legislation. It included training for magistrates and investigation service personnel. Expertise France is implementing a project that continues this work in the region.
Investigation joint teams (Équipes Communes d’Enquêtes—ECE)—have been implemented with Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, and Bosnia-Herzegovina in transnational trafficking cases. OCRTEH has established strategic operational exchanges with Nigeria and China.
Directorate for Judicial Protection of the Youth (la direction de la protection judiciaire de la jeunesse —DPJJ)—of the Ministry of Justice is a partner in a project implemented by ECRE (European Council for Refugees and Exiles) called “Analysis of reception, protection and integration for unaccompanied minors in the EU” (2013–2020). The project’s goal is to contribute to improving the reception norms for unaccompanied minors to ensure that reception conditions answer their needs.
The International Cooperation for Security Directory (Direction de la coopération internationale de sécurité—DCIS), through its 73 internal security services (SSI) disseminated in 158 countries on the five continents, works to combat irregular migration as part of the frame of institutional, operational and technical cooperation. DCIS relies on a network of 25 immigration liaison officers present in Europe, Asia, and Africa and 18 immigration security advisers in Africa.
Through its permanent work with local partners, DCIS reinforces the coordination between the different actors, carries out intelligence transmission, and assists international investigations and the fight against documentary fraud and irregular transportation of illegal passengers to the Schengen area.
As part of the joint operational partnerships (particularly with Spain) and the joint investigation teams in countries of origin, DCIS contributes to the effort against criminal networks linked to irregular migration.
Transnational Referral Mechanism
A Transnational Referral Mechanism (TRM) does not currently exist. To learn more about TRMs, see IOM’s Transnational Referral Mechanism Model (TACT) project and tool.*
*IOM, TACT Transnational Referral Mechanism, financed by le fonds Asile, Migration et integration (FAMI)
National dispositive Ac.Sé just published #ATtrACT+ Carnet de route, a publication on identification and protection of TIP victims in France, Cypress, Spain, and Italy. Published with the financial support of the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, it is available in English, Italian and Spanish. See also other Ac.Sé publications.
Relevant National Legislation and Policies
All 15 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states and Chad, Libya, and Mauritania: nationals require a valid visa corresponding to the purpose of the visit, and valid travel document for more than at least three months of the duration of required stay.
Generally speaking, nationals from all countries that do not have visa exemption agreements with France need a visa before their arrival to enter France or any other “Schengen Area” countries.
Visa exempted: all European Union (EU) and Swiss nationals
In addition to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, France has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (both ratified in 2006). France is also a member of the convention relating to the mutual assistance in criminal matters between EU countries. France has ratified several conventions in the criminal area concerning the fight against trafficking in human beings.
France is bound by the EU instruments on action against trafficking in human beings, more precisely Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 5, 2011 on preventing and combatting trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims; Council Directive 2004/81/EC of April 29, 2004 on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperate with the competent authorities; Council Directive 2004/80/EC of April 29, 2004 relating to compensation to crime victims; and Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA of March 15, 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings
Since 2013, France has been mobilized to fight trafficking in human beings through the enforcement of a dedicated national policy. This commitment is reflected through the reinforcement of the legislative arsenal with the creation, in 2013, of a national institution of coordination: The inter-ministerial mission for the protection of women against violence and the fight against human trafficking (MIPROF) and the implementation of the first National Action Plan (2014-2017) evaluated by an independent rapporteur, the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights—CNCDH/ French NHRI).
Law of August 5, 2013 concerning various dispositions of adaptation in the justice area according to the application of EU laws and France’s international agreements, modified the definition of the offence of trafficking in human beings as defined in Article 225-4-1 of the Penal Code. This law includes slavery, servitude, forced labour, and organ removal as purposes of exploitation.
Law of August 4, 2014 concerning the effective equality between women and men modifies Article L316-1 of the Code of entry and residence regulation and asylum right (CESEDA). It allows, in case of the final condemnation of the trafficker, that a residence permit is to be issued by right to the foreign victim who has pressed criminal charges or testified. Victims of TIP are exonerated from taxes and stamp duties when the residence permit is issued and/or renewed.
The Ministry of Justice’s circular of January 22, 2015 encourages prosecutors to consider more the incrimination of “trafficking in human beings” by encompassing the whole criminal logistical chain.
The Ministry of Interior published an instruction of May 19, 2015 that defines the conditions of admission concerning the right of residence of foreign victims of TIP or victims of procuring. It also foresees the designation and follow up of trafficking referents within the prefectures. This instruction also provides the prefects the possibility to implement local coordination in conjunction with the prosecutors to facilitate cooperation with civil society, to support and protect victims and to promote the prosecution of perpetrators.
Law of July 29, 2015 concerning the reform of the asylum law makes the evaluation of the vulnerability of all asylum seekers compulsory. This evaluation specifically aims to better identify unaccompanied minors and victims of TIP.
Law of April 13, 2016 (LOI n° 2016-444 du 13 avril 2016 ) reinforces the fights against systems of prostitution and to assist prostituted persons, suppressing the offence of soliciting for prostitution, in accordance with the non-punishment principle carried by international texts. This law modified CESEDA Article L316-1, and provides that persons who have filed a complaint against a person accused of trafficking and/or procuring, or testified in a criminal proceeding, will automatically receive a temporary residence permit. It also reinforces the prosecution of TIP and procuring networks and expands the labour inspectors’ competencies on the recognition of the offence of TIP.
Law of June 3, 2016 reinforces the fight against organized crime and allows the victims of TIP and the victims of procuring to receive a new identity on the basis of the dispositions defined in Article 706-62-2 of the code of criminal procedure
Law of March 27, 2017 about the duty of vigilance for parent companies and originator companies compels business corporations employing at least 5,000 persons in France and at least 10,000 persons in the world in their head offices or/and in their affiliates to establish a vigilance plan, to implement it, and to publish it. This plan will guide the companies to better control all risks linked to their subcontracting chains.
Training professionals: MIPROF has started to create teaching tools and to implement trainings for professionals who work with victims (Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, NSAs, and professionals in the field). A guide From identification to protection of victims of TIP will be published in 2021.
Reinforcement of rights: The law of August 17, 2015 stipulates that the victim can be assisted through at all stages by an organization assisting victims or by a service under the responsibility of a public body; a victim can also be assisted by an adult or legal representative of his or her choice.
The April 13, 2016 law prescribed the reinforcement of the right of residence for victims of TIP.
Concerning accommodation: the national Ac.Sé scheme is part of the protection measures for victims of trafficking in France as cited in Decree n˚ 2007-1352 of September 13, 2007. IT offers geographically distant support and accommodation from the place of residence of the trafficked person. A 2017 circular called for the mobilization of shelters to join this scheme and thus expand the number of places.
Unconditional protection for minors: In 2013, a working group was established to reflect on the establishment of a safety network for minor victims of TIP, especially those sexually exploited and those used to commit crimes.
Prosecution of traffickers/networks: The Ministry of Justice’s circular of January 22, 2015, on criminal policy regarding human trafficking, invites public prosecutors’ offices to make greater use of the various qualifications of human trafficking, in particular by recalling that this incrimination allows the use of investigative techniques (interception, audio recording, data capture, investigations under pseudonyms, etc.). The circular considers the combination of trafficking and exploitation as procuring.
Prevention: Actions have been implemented to prevent the phenomenon, including through awareness-raising among the general public and students in middle and high schools. In addition, the offence of purchasing sexual acts provided for in the law of April 13, 2016 has the effect of reducing demand and therefore preventing trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Legal assistance and victim’s compensation
REGARDING LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Access to information concerning relevant legal and administrative proceedings in a language that victims can understand is stated in Article R316-1 of the Code of Entry and residence regulation and asylum right and in Article 7 of Law of August 17, 2015 concerning the adaptation of the penal procedure to EU law.
Access to the assistance of an advocate and to free legal assistance during the investigation and the judicial procedure is granted by legal aid if the victim is willing to file a civil complaint or to seek compensation for the harm suffered, provided the victim complies with the required conditions.
REGARDING VICTIMS COMPENSATION
State compensation: Victims of TIP have access to Commission of Compensation for the Victims of an Offence (CIVI). As such, through the commission for compensation of crime victims (CIVI), victims may obtain full compensation for the damages that resulted from personal injury, established at each high court, which will award them compensatioń for this purpose, under the conditions of Article 706-3 of the code of criminal procedure. The law of August 5, 2013 abolished́ the conditions relating to the nationalitý of the injured party or the regularitý of his or her administrative situation when the facts weré committed on national territory. In order to refer the case to the CIVI, the victim can contact a victim assistance association that has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Justice, which will inform him or her of his or her rights and the steps to be taken to refer the case to the CIVI or request the assistance of a lawyer under the legal aid scheme if he or she fulfills the conditions to benefit from it.
Concerning the victims’ compensation by means of the traffickers’ assets. Law No. 2010-768 of July 9, 2010 profoundly modified the right of seizure and confiscation in criminal matters. The law created the Agence de gestion et de recouvrement des avoirs saisis et confisqués (AGRASC). Article 131-21, al. 6 of the Penal Code, concerning the most serious offences, henceforth provides the right to confiscate the assets of a convict without any consideration of their origin, licit or illicit, even if those assets are not linked to the offence (Article 131-21 al. 5).
Victims are entitled to a residence permit under article L316-1 of the CESEDA (Code de l’Entrée et du Séjour des Étrangers et du Droit d’Asile).
This article specifically refers to the admission to residence of victims of trafficking and also provides for the issuance of a renewable residence permit authorizing the exercise of a professional activity to a foreign national who has filed a complaint against a person whom he accuses of having committed trafficking-related offenses against him or who has/will testify in criminal proceedings for this offense.
As outlined in CESEDA Article R316-3, this type of residency permit is valid for a minimum of six months. The Ministry of Interior’s instruction of May 19, 2015 concerning the conditions of residence admission for foreign national victims of TIP/procuring specifies that the permit must be valid for a year. The French authorities have indicated that the victim’s cooperation with the investigative services make it possible to confirm the reported trafficking situation, identify other potential victims, and help identify the members of the exploitation network. The foreign national must present the receipt́ of the filing of his or her complaint, or the references of the legal proceedings initiated - including his or her testimony for criminal offenses of trafficking and procuration. The law enforcement or judicial services, which have registered́ the complaint or testimony, provide the essential elements to the prefecture services in order to establish that the foreigner has indeed cooperated́, but the details of the case are not made made public. c. Victims are not required to present a passport attesting of their legal entry. If victims don’t have a passport, they can present a consular attestation that includes a picture. The instruction of May 19, 2015 specifies that the persons soliciting a resident permit based on CESEDA Article L316-1, provided that their files are complete, will receive a receipt valid for four months following the treatment of their request by the prefectural services. This receipt authorizes them to stay in France and to pursue a professional activity. d. A residence permit valid for 10 years is delivered to victims fulfilling the conditions defined by Article L316-1 when the final conviction of the trafficker is pronounced.
REGARDING ASSISTED RETURN
Victims of TIP who received a residence permit and that are willing to return to their country of origin or to go to another country can benefit from an assisted return programme financed by the Office for Immigration and Integration (l’Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration—OFII).
Reintegration grants allocated by OFII apply to foreign nationals residing illegally in France as well. For eligible foreigner nationals, OFII organizes the return, offers administrative support to obtain travel documents, and covers the travel flight tickets for the individual and her/his family as well as transportation to the airport of departure in France. Depending on the country of origin, OFII might also allocate a financial subsidy and assistance for reintegration