The Scelles Foundation has been heard by the GRETA, the experts group on the fight against human trafficking of the European Council

La Fondation Scelles a été entendue par le Groupe d’experts sur la lutte contre la traite des êtres humains (GRETA) On September 5th 2016, joined by the member associations of the Collective: Together against the human trade, Yves Charpenel, the president of the Scelles Foundation and First Public prosecutor at the supreme court of cassation and François Vignaud who is in charge of the institutional relations of the Scelles Foundation, were received in Paris by the representatives of the GRETA (experts group on the fight against human trafficking of the European Council), on the occasion of the group’s second assessment visit from September 5th until September 9th 2016.
These experts are responsible for watching the implementation by the State Parties of the Convention of the European Council on the fight against human trafficking dated May 16th 2005 (article 38, subsection1 of the Convention).

A most significant observatory of the sexual exploitation and its evolutions, the Scelles Foundation delivered its analysis of the new trends of the phenomenon in France and throughout the world, of the measures engaged to counter it and of the policies for prevention, proceeding of the perpetrators and protection of the victims’ rights.


A certain number of elements have been highlighted showing the possible room for improvement in the collaboration between public authorities and the associative world. The following points have drawn the highest attention of The GRETA expert:

-Difficulties for a global coordination between the associative world and the authorities (police and gendarmerie) even if communication between them does exist, mostly through personal relations.
-Insufficient training and information concerning police services and health staff and some uncertainties in relation with the “identification markers” of the victims of trade with prostitution purposes.
-Significant increase over the last two years of the number of foreign and bi-national minors within the prostitution networks, particularly originated from the African continent. There is a direct link with the migrants issue and the terrorist islamism problem.
-Admission of unsuited legal procedures concerning the minors.
-Difficulties for the courts to qualify the offences and to pass sentences in the current absence of an homogeneous national penal policy.
-Same difficulty to pass sentences in relation with the victims’ “consent” and the absence of complaint.
-Difficulty for the associations to operate, the objectively qualified victims maintaining denial. Hence the problem of the hold over victims by the networks.
-Recognition of the impetus by the Parquet de Paris (public prosecutor’s office) who is particularly aware of and implied in the passing of the sentences.
-Admission of some legal evolution but lack of legal efficiency and slow implementation of the decrees, particularly in relation with the assistance fund for victims.
-The State’s budget policy is unclear particularly in terms of effective support of the associations.

This exchange, like all the others that will be conducted with the other major actors of the fight against the human trade (public institutions and associations) will allow to evaluate the improvements achieved by France in the implementation of the Convention of the European Council on the fight against the human trade, since the first assessment in January 2013 and to complete the pieces of information provided by the French government in their answers to the second questionnaire by the GRETA on April 1st 2016.

Following this visit, The GRETA will prepare a draft report for the French authorities to write their comments, before the adoption of the final report which will be published in March 2017.


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