European Council discuss about Human Trafficking in EU

In 2016-2017, the expert group has led a mission of evaluation of policy, and some EU countries took part in the fight against trafficking. Petya Nestorova, executive Secretary of the Convention of the Council of Europe on the fight against trafficking in human beings humans highlights the main axes.

You have recently conducted an assessment on the fight against trafficking in human beings humans in France. What are the points you have rated?

The assessment conducted by GRETA in 2016 – 2017 was the second evaluation of the implementation of the Convention of the Council of Europe on the fight against trafficking in human beings through France. It focused on several points of the anti-trafficking, different but complementary:

  • Prevention efforts deployed by the French authorities: for example the national strategy, awareness campaigns, and preventive measures, as well on trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation that exploitation by the work, and with a particular focus on children;
  • The measures are taken to ensure the good identification of the victims (regardless of the type of operation), as well as adequate and assistance adapted to the victims, the measures adopted to ensure the regularity of the stay of foreign at least victims during the support period. Here again, the blow of projector is placed on children victims of trafficking, their identification and assistance measures explicitly planned for them in the light of the best interests of the child.
  • Some issues relating to the criminal and procedural law, and including the use of the criminalization of trafficking by the investigation services, the public prosecutor’s Office and judges; the protection of victims throughout the investigation and criminal procedure. But also the so-called non-sanction of victims of trafficking who were brought by exploiters to commit offenses (for example, often for children flew in networks, the pickpocket).

How did you measure these points?

Since 2012, year of the first evaluation of the France report, progress has been made in several ways: a first national Action Plan 2014-2016, long delayed, has been adopted; August 5, 2013, the definition of the offense of trafficking in human beings human such that under article 225-4-1 of the code criminal has been changed in line with the previous recommendations of the GRETA; better coordination at the institutional level is conducted by the MIPROF. (Interdepartmental mission for the protection of women against violence and the fight against trafficking in human beings humans). But to recognize that serious concerns persist. Deficiencies remain regarding the identification of victims and assistance measures.

Since 2012, year of the first evaluation of the France report, progress has been made in several respects.

Compared to other countries with mechanisms to identify structured, there are few victims identified, and this is particularly true in the exploitation by labor or exploitation of children.
Places in the homes of victims are still far short of needs, especially regarding the reception of children and men. The prosecution of exploiters still rarely make use of the offense of trafficking and lead still too rarely in convictions; in part, due to lack of knowledge of the offense and the specifies of the phenomenon of trafficking, even if there seem to be some jurisprudential advances.
Alarming statistics are also trained on the undocumented migrants, including unaccompanied, for which efforts identification and assistance, but also prevention of trafficking, are greatly insufficient. On the occasion of the visit of evaluation in September 2016, GRETA is rendering in the ‘jungle’ in Calais, disbanded shortly after, but which seems to grow back. Moreover, such camps still exist in other places.

In the light of this assessment, what recommendations do you the French State to improve the prevention and the fight against trafficking in human beings human?

At the time of the evaluation, one of the deficiencies was undoubtedly the lack of appropriate and comprehensive statistics. Without statistics, the findings are more difficult, and adaptation and the effectiveness of anti-trafficking policies necessarily suffer. The authorities must continue the efforts they have initiated in this area.
Greater efforts are also needed to raise awareness generally to the Treaty, but also specifically to the trafficking of children. There is to date not been a real national campaign of public authorities around the phenomenon of trafficking.

For now, it remains in the hands of the associations, with minimal financial means.

The top priority must be the adoption of preventive measures to provide a protective environment especially for children unaccompanied (safe accommodation, access to education and health, etc.); He must also, without delay, measures of prevention of trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation, trafficking for exploitation by labor, forced crime, forced to mendacity, etc. A multidisciplinary approach must be implemented to ensure genuinely effective identification and orientation of the victims.

This implies the greater involvement of players other than the police, for example critically, specialized NGOs and labor inspectors. Everyone needs to make its expertise and experience, in a clear framework for all. Emphasis should not be placed on the possible cooperation of the victim with the police, but above all on its orientation towards the assistance she needs. A victim will all the more be able to cooperate with the police that she has had an opportunity to get assistance in an appropriate framework to emerge from the trauma of exploitation and begin to rebuild.

And what of the children?

This approach must be adapted to the situation of children, always with the best interests of the child as a cardinal point. In their case, must, as soon as possible, a guardianship is systematically designated to defend their interests. For now, it appears to be still very problematic. Major efforts are to identify unaccompanied children, victims of trafficking in the refugee camps, which was shouting at the time of the visit. This is also true of children caught in forcing networks to steal or beg on pain of abuse. Still too often, they are first seen as criminals. Here you can read more about human trafficking exploitation of children.

In this regard, but it also applies to the adult victims, the authorities must do more to ensure the application of the principle of non-sanction when a victim has been forced by a dealer to commit an offense. At present, this provision is insufficiently known and insufficiently used, and this can have serious consequences for victims who may be incarcerated, or even be deprived of any form of assistance.

How is the State seizes on recommendations made by GRETA?

In October 2018, a year after the adoption of a recommendation by the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on the basis of the report of the GRETA, the authorities will have to report on the measures that have been taken to implement these recommendations; This will help focus the progress made but also everything that remains to be done. It is a way to ensure that the assessment report continues to live after his release and to maintain some pressure on the authorities to make a difference.

How the collective “together against the trafficking of human beings humans” can help the application by the State of your recommendations for better prevention and fight against trafficking in human beings human?

The contribution of civil society in the fight against trafficking is crucial. Given their knowledge of the issue and the field, civil society must be an indispensable partner to the authorities. She is also a natural partner for GRETA. In the light of the report of the GRETA, the collective can follow the areas in which the authorities are not moving enough and “reminder bites” by means that are his (meetings with the authorities, statements, campaigns, etc.). The idea is to be United against the Treaty, each armed tools that are unique. Communication with GRETA links are also permanent, through round tables and other meetings.


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