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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                          gvnet.com/humantrafficking/France.htm

French Republic (France)

France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public health and welfare.

France's tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe - at nearly 50% of GDP in 2005. With at least 75 million foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: France

France is a destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation from Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, and Malaysia and other Asian countries. Men, women and children continued to be trafficked for the purposes of forced labor, including domestic servitude, many from Africa. Often their “employers” are diplomats who enjoy diplomatic immunity.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   [full country report]

 

 

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in France.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

Romanian Premier Interviewed in 'Le Monde'

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL Newsline, 02-08-05

www.hri.org/news/balkans/rferl/2002/02-08-05.rferl.html#69

[accessed 5 February 2011]

[69] ROMANIAN PREMIER INTERVIEWED IN 'LE MONDE' - Prime Minister Adrian Nastase said in an interview to the French daily "Le Monde" on 2 August that Romania finds itself in an "extremely delicate and difficult situation" as a result of the Romany criminal networks allegedly engaging in human trafficking and forcing handicapped children into begging in France.

UN expert urges France, Chad to probe children case

Xinhua News Agency, Geneva, Nov. 6, 2007

mathaba.net/news/?x=569919

[accessed 5 February 2011]

Some members of the French NGO, named Arche de Zoe, were arrested in Chad on Oct. 25, following its alleged attempt to abduct and transfer 103 children to France for alleged adoption.  The NGO had claimed that its operation was aimed to help orphan refugees from Sudan's Darfur region. But international humanitarian organizations say many of the children were Chadian and they had parents.

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

Police arrest 15 in Bosnia-France human trafficking ring

Agence France-Presse AFP, Sarajevo, 23 June 2015

news.yahoo.com/police-arrest-15-bosnia-france-human-trafficking-ring-151556309.html

[accessed 23 June 2015]

Bosnian and French police arrested Tuesday 15 members of a human trafficking ring that forced women and children to beg and steal in cities across France, Bosnian authorities said.   Seven suspects were arrested in Bosnia and eight in France, the police said.

The women and children involved were subject to blackmail, threats and physical and psychological abuse, police said in a statement.   "Once there, they were forced to steal in the street and give up the money. In some cases, children were also victims," police said.   Investigators estimate that the traffickers made more than two million euros on the operation ($2.2 million), and laundered the proceeds through property and luxury car purchases in Bosnia.

Conference puts focus on human trafficking, fastest growing criminal industry

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - UNHCR, Lille France, 11 October 2010

www.unhcr.org/4cb315c96.html

[accessed 5 February 2011]

Government officials, judiciary members, police officers and humanitarian aid workers have expressed concern, during a conference in northern France, about victims of human trafficking, the world's fastest growing criminal industry.

The UN refugee agency, which co-organized last Thursday's gathering in Lille with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), was particularly concerned about unaccompanied children. The young can be ensnared by trafficking rings, which, unlike human smuggling groups, move people against their will in order to exploit them.

"We are particularly worried about the unaccompanied children who find themselves in this situation and who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. It is very difficult to keep track of them and we don't know what happens to them once they leave France," Véronique Robert, acting UNHCR representative in France, told participants.

UN expert urges France, Chad to probe children case

Xinhua News Agency, Geneva, Nov. 6, 2007

mathaba.net/news/?x=569919

[accessed 5 February 2011]

Some members of the French NGO, named Arche de Zoe, were arrested in Chad on Oct. 25, following its alleged attempt to abduct and transfer 103 children to France for alleged adoption.  The NGO had claimed that its operation was aimed to help orphan refugees from Sudan's Darfur region. But international humanitarian organizations say many of the children were Chadian and they had parents.

Police arrest ten Bulgarians for human trafficking to France

Agence France-Presse AFP, April 20 2007

www.asser.nl/default.aspx?site_id=8&level1=10790&level2=10850&level3=&textid=29558

[accessed 31 August 2011]

Ten Bulgarians involved in trafficking women to France to work as prostitutes have been arrested following a joint operation by Bulgarian and French authorities, the national investigation service said Friday.

Between 2002 and 2005, the group transferred at least 105 Bulgarian girls to France and forced them to work as prostitutes, Ivanova said.

Bulgaria, France Crash Human Trafficking Channel

FACE2FACE

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

A channel for traffic in people to France has been crushed by the Bulgarian and French police.

Police in Bulgaria's Russe and French Marseille acted in close cooperation in crushing the channel. Six people were questioned in the Bulgarian city and 5 homes were searched. A total of 20 cell phones, many personal belongings as well as bank transfers documents were confiscated during the search.

65 convicted in French child abuse trial

Jon Henley in Paris, The Guardian, 28 July 2005

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jul/28/france.jonhenley

[accessed 5 February 2011]

Key figures in the largest child abuse trial ever held in France were sentenced to up to 28 years in jail yesterday after a jury convicted them of raping, molesting and prostituting children, including their own.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1   Civil Liberties: 1   Status: Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/france

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

www.hrw.org/europecentral-asia/france

[accessed 5 February 2011]

Domestic slavery: servitude, au pairs and mail-order brides - Report

Rapporteur: Mr Giuseppe Gaburro, Italy, Group of the European People’s Party, Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe, Doc. 10144, 19 April 2004

lastradainternational.org/?main=documentation&document=1780

[accessed 16 July 2013]

B. DOMESTIC SLAVERY AND SERVITUDE

11. In France alone, the CCEM has taken up the cases of over 400 victims of domestic slavery since its creation in 1994.

RIGHTS OF THE CHILD - Report submitted by Juan Miguel Petit, Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography - Addendum - Mission to France, 25-29 November 2002 [PDF]

UN Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/2004/9/Add.1, 14 October 2003

www.refworld.org/docid/4090ffd80.html

[accessed 8 September 2014]

SUMMARY - The report focuses on the sale of children in the context of trafficking of children and child prostitution, and on child pornography and its links with domestic child sexual abuse.  Concerning the sale of children, trafficking and child prostitution, the report relates information presented to the Special Rapporteur by the Children’s Ombudsman (Défenseure des enfants), the police, NGOs, as well as government ministries.  According to this information, children are being trafficked into France primarily from Eastern Europe, notably Romania, and from West Africa, but also from Asia including such countries as India and China.  Many, if not most, of these children are under the control of trafficking networks and are forced into prostitution.  The Government of France is starting to work with the authorities of the countries concerned, in particular with Romania with which it signed a bilateral agreement in 2001 with respect to returning children.

V.  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

73. Children are entering or travelling through France for the purposes of theft, begging and prostitution.  Many of them are trafficked by force while others travel of their own volition - some later becoming caught up in trafficking networks.  The majority of these children come from Eastern Europe - notably Romania - and from West Africa.

Romanian Premier Interviewed in 'Le Monde'

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL Newsline, 02-08-05

www.hri.org/news/balkans/rferl/2002/02-08-05.rferl.html#69

[accessed 5 February 2011]

[69] ROMANIAN PREMIER INTERVIEWED IN 'LE MONDE' - Prime Minister Adrian Nastase said in an interview to the French daily "Le Monde" on 2 August that Romania finds itself in an "extremely delicate and difficult situation" as a result of the Romany criminal networks allegedly engaging in human trafficking and forcing handicapped children into begging in France.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61648.htm

[accessed 5 February 2011]

CHILDREN - In October authorities arrested 15 persons and rescued 7 babies in connection with the baby trafficking ring discovered in 2004, and five persons were arrested. A Roma family in Bulgaria headed the network, which sold babies to other Roma families for approximately $6 thousand to $7,200 (5 thousand to 6 thousand euros). OCRETH continued to work with Bulgarian authorities on the investigation. The head of the ring was to be prosecuted under a 2003 trafficking in person's law.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – In 2003 police arrested 67 adults in a Roma encampment outside Paris and charged them with organizing sexual enslavement of Roma children who were kidnapped from Romania, brought to the country, raped to make them obey, and sent out on the streets of Paris and its suburbs to steal and prostitute themselves. According to press reports, the children were forced to earn $240 (200 euros) a day or face severe physical punishment. The child‑traffickers remained in jail awaiting trial at the end of the year.

Police estimated that 90 percent of the 15 thousand to 18 thousand female prostitutes working in the country were trafficking victims, and that 3 thousand to 8 thousand children were forced into prostitution and labor, including begging.

Traffickers used various methods to recruit and retain victims including force, fraud, confiscating the victim's identification papers, isolating him or her culturally, and abusing him or her physically or psychologically. Some victims came to the country willing to work as prostitutes, not knowing they were going to become trafficking victims. Traffickers kidnapped or "bought" some women and girls and sold them to Balkans-based prostitution networks, which smuggled the victims into the country. NGOs and police characterized the bulk of traffickers in the country as "micro-trafficking networks" that included both citizens and foreigners.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 June 2004

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/france2004.html

[accessed 5 February 2011]

[52] The Committee welcomes the legislative and other efforts aimed at providing protection of children from economic exploitation. However, the Committee is concerned that illegal networks of forced labor continue to operate and that foreign children fall victims to networks that are not countered vigorously enough.

[54] The Committee notes that, following the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm in 1996, a National Plan of Action was adopted to protect children from abuse and ill treatment. The following year, in 1997, protection of abused children was declared a national priority. However, the Committee is concerned at the occurrence of trafficking of children, prostitution and related issues, as noted in the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography following his mission to France in November 2002.

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Torture in  [France]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [France]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [France]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [France]  [other countries]