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GRETA publishes report on France

Strasbourg, 28.01.13 – The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has urged the French authorities to take a number of steps to improve the country’s fight against trafficking in human beings.

In its first report on human trafficking in France, GRETA called upon the authorities to launch a co-ordinated national anti-trafficking action plan as a matter of priority. The expert group also recommended that a nation-wide referral mechanism be set up to formally identify victims of trafficking and ensure that they are helped and protected.

The report underlined gaps in data collection and the identification of emerging trends, especially with regard to labour exploitation. Nevertheless, there are indications that there may be several thousand victims of human trafficking in France every year. The number of child victims of trafficking is thought to be increasing, notably with regard to children of Roma origin trafficked from South East Europe to take part in forced begging and theft.

GRETA urged the French authorities to ensure that their approach to human trafficking is based on protecting the human rights of victims. Identification and access to support should not depend upon their willingness to co-operate with the authorities, and protection of victims and witnesses during investigations and trials should be strengthened to prevent them facing intimidation or retaliation.

The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings entered into force in France in May 2008. Today’s report is the first assessment of the extent to which the Convention has been put into practice by the French authorities.

[Click here to access GRETA’s Report and the Committee of the Parties’ Recommendation on France]