French Cabinet

YMGE 2018

Letter from Director

Dear Delegates,

Hello and welcome to Yale Model Government Europe 2018! My name is Muriel, and I am very excited to serve as your Committee Director for the French Cabinet. I look forward to making your overall YMGE experience as enjoyable and as rewarding as possible. During the conference, I hope to facilitate engaging debate, encourage innovative solutions, and examine some of the most pressing issues facing the France, Europe, and the world today.

I am a junior majoring in Global Affairs at Yale University from Singapore and Boston, Massachusetts. I have also lived in Shanghai, China and in Concord, New Hampshire. As a member of the Yale International Relations Association (YIRA), I was also involved with SCSY, YMUN China, and YMUN. Outside of YIRA, I am involved with Yale Children’s Theatre and in the Admissions Office as a Recruitment Coordinator. In my free time, I like writing, catching up on TV shows and movies, and solving crossword puzzles.

As your Director, I am more than happy to help you in any way I can. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic guide or YMGE in general, please feel free to contact me at muriel.wang@yale.edu. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

I look forward to seeing you all in Budapest!

Cheers,

Muriel Wang

muriel.wang@yale.edu

Committee History

The French Cabinet, or the Conseil de Ministres (Council of Ministers), is a small and powerful executive organ in the composition of the French government. While the Government of the Republic of France itself is composed of a variety of ministers, both senior and junior, the Cabinet is chaired by the President and only includes the senior ministers. Therefore, the Cabinet operates in a uniquely powerful space within France’s semi-presidential governmental system. Not only will it directly determine the country’s course of action on key domestic issues, it is also a major platform for decision-making on international relations. Functioning as main advisors to the President, cabinet members will work to exercise important regulatory powers during our YMGE Cabinet sessions.

The Constitution of the Fifth Republic delineates crucial processes by which ministers are appointed, and the important democratic checks to which the Cabinet is subject. It is important to understand the history behind France’s chronological Republics. Currently, France’s government is in its fifth iteration of democratic governance, with the Fourth having ended in 1958.

  • First Republic: 1792 - 1804

  • Second Republic: 1848 - 1852

  • Third Republic: 1870 - 1940

  • Fourth Republic: 1946 - 1958

  • Fifth Republic: 1958-present

The pre-Second World War Third Republic and the post-war Fourth Republic are often criticized for being too weak politically. In the Fifth Republic, therefore, substantial power was given to the President. Indeed, the Fifth Republic emerged after France’s political crisis in Algeria, when Charles de Gaulle consolidated his power under a new definition of presidency. The post of President was then constructed to be quite uniquely powerful in the world of European politics. The current President of France is Emmanuel Macron. The President of France appoints the Prime Minister, who will then name the other ministers of government, both senior and junior.

The Prime Minister works to ensure the implementation of French laws and exercises regulatory power. In unusual circumstances, the Prime Minister is also responsible for replacing the President as the chairman of the French Cabinet. In addition, the Prime Minister is tasked with overseeing national defence, working in conjunction with guidelines set by the President. The current Prime Minister of France is Édouard Charles Philippe.

The ministers and ministers of state are tasked with two major missions. They lead their own ministerial departments, and are also entrusted with a more specific political mission. Thus,  ministers have administrative power over their own ministerial department, over which they have regulatory oversight. In other words, ministers do not have the power to dictate general laws in other circumstances, but may do so in their own department. The second part of ministers’ mission is that of political implementation. Ministers are indeed charged with discussing various governmental laws, policies, and activities, although they are not as involved as was customary under the Third and Fourth Republics.

The Council of Ministers meets weekly, on Wednesdays. Chaired by the President of the Republic, the ministers come together at the Elysée Palace. Conducted in three stages, the Council of Ministers first focuses on texts of general interest -- bills, ordinances, decrees. Then, decisions relating to appointment of senior civil servants are discussed. The third stage, then, is dedicated to a minister’s presentation on a reform. The President may then give a speech offering participants the chance to state opinions. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also gives a weekly update on global happenings of interest to national security.

In order to apply checks and balances to the executive branch of government, the French cabinet is subject to several different mechanisms of accountability. The National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) is the lower house in the French political system. Members of the National Assembly have the power to question ministers in person or in writing. They also have the ability to censure the performance of the executive branch if dissatisfied with the performance of the government. By passing such a motion, the National Assembly would effectively be calling for the government’s dissolution. Such a harsh and extreme action has only been invoked once in the Fifth Republic’s history, in 1962. Members of the National Assembly are directly elected in a two-tiered voting system, and serve five year terms.

In terms of political system, France has a multi-party system. In a concrete sense, often, no one political party wins the majority of Assembly seats. Therefore, the major parties themselves are quite segmented, and members often having shifting allegiances. In the past, French politics has technically been driven by two divergent poles. The left-wing parties include the French Socialist Party, and minor parties like Europe Ecology — the Greens and the Radical Party of the Left. The strong right-wing party is today Les Républicains. There are, however, growing contingents of other movements in current day. An example of a growing movement is the right-wing, anti-immigrant Front National (FN). In fact, during the regional elections of 2015, the FN actually won the first round. Marine Le Pen leads the party right now, and she came second in the first and the second rounds of the 2017 presidential election. The FN has not made waves of this sort since 1984 when it won 11 percent of the votes.

The fourth movement of interest is actually the party founded by current President Macron in 2016. The Republic on the Move (La République En Marche or La REM) is a generally centrist, liberal and social-liberal political party. When Macron won the 2017 presidential elections, his own party also won the National Assembly elections the month after.

Macron’s 22-member cabinet attracted some media attention when he first announced it. 11 men and 11 women comprise this gender-balanced cabinet, and they come from all different types of political affiliations and backgrounds (except for the far-right National Front). Macron indeed focused heavily on political renewal, as he had promised during his campaign. Women are heading ministries of defense, health, labor, culture, higher education, and agriculture. There are two associates and four junior ministers to complement the 16 full ministers. Macron was also the first President in the history of modern French institutions to choose a prime minister from the opposite side of the political spectrum, having not been forced to do so by voters. For a general description of each of Macron’s cabinet ministers, please visit this webpage.

Topic History

When discussing human rights issues, it is always easy to dismiss them as secondary to other issues of national security. It is paramount to affirm, however, that issues concerning human rights are indeed issues of national security. How does that concept work? Above all, the countless debates surrounding universal basic human rights often hinge upon concerns of national security, whether it be borders, transnational interactions, economic growth, poverty alleviation, human capital development, even war and peace. Indeed, the French Cabinet at YMGE 2018 will be discussing the issue of human trafficking in great detail, not only as an ideological debate but also as a policy issue. Realizing that human rights, including the freedom from being human trafficked, are a cornerstone of this Cabinet’s policy stance, you all will be weighing the costs and benefits of France’s current actions against human trafficking, and how international human trafficking may be eliminated once and for all.

The topic history will be divided into two sections. The first will examine the topic of human trafficking as a hot-button issue of the human right to safety and security over time. The second will narrow in on France’s own history and legacy with human trafficking. Before we embark on the explanation, it is important to understand that a topic like human trafficking is quite broad, and context is everything.

To begin, let’s define the term “human trafficking.” The United Nations defines it as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means for an improper purpose, including forced labor or sexual exploitation. Often, human trafficking is a component examined in modern slavery, or the modern slave trade. Modern slavery is encompassed by the institutions that exist today that continue to exploit human beings for profit. In a more concrete sense, women forced into prostitution, men forced to work, children in sweatshops, or women forced to marry — these are all examples of humans whose lives are controlled by exploitative individuals or systems. The harsh facts of this tragic reality are often incredibly harrowing, and we as a Cabinet are tasked with our global responsibility to end human trafficking in all its forms.

Human trafficking is often called a “hidden crime,” as a majority of victims find it difficult to seek help and report incidents. As a result of massive language barriers, fear of punishment, and fear of lacking law enforcement support, human trafficking victims often survive in silence and are unable to change their state of life. Traffickers use a variety of methods to exploit vulnerable populations. Often, economically disadvantaged individuals are labelled as some of the most vulnerable to human trafficking. Other factors that lead to possible exploitation include a lacking social safety net, natural disasters, and political instability. At the end of the day, traffickers take advantage of some of these factors in order to lure victims. While it is hard to make a causal argument, it is tough to deny some correlatory factors found amongst human trafficking victims.

It is also important to debunk some pervasive myths surrounding the issue of human trafficking. First of all, some may believe that human trafficking exists only in developing spheres, and not in countries that deem themselves as strong on promoting human rights. This is categorically false, as a majority of countries act as either the transit point, source, or destination of trafficked peoples. There also exists a stereotype that all victims of human trafficking are poor and from a nation other than the destination country. In fact, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally, from all sorts of socioeconomic backgrounds, countries of origin, from all varied levels of education, and are of rural, suburban or urban communities everywhere around the world. The United States alone has hundreds of thousands of human trafficking victims. Of course, there are populations that are more vulnerable to persistent human trafficking. Foreign-born individuals who are trafficked to a country without documentation are particularly vulnerable. In 2013, 32 percent of calls with high indicators of human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline alluded to victims being foreign nationals. For one, foreign nationals rely heavily upon their traffickers, as they may lack relevant local knowledge, language skills, legal understanding, or even the proper documentation to go to the authorities for support. In this way, traffickers ensure the trafficked remain reliant on their provisions.

Of course, some may also believe that sex trafficking is the only form of human trafficking worth our staunch attention. In fact, forced labor of all sorts often qualifies as a result of human trafficking. This includes exploitation of peoples in both legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, sweatshops included.

It is also paramount to note that human trafficking is not a modern phenomenon, nor is it one that transpired during the industrial revolution. In fact, human trafficking and exploitation have existed for thousands of years. One can trace evidence back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, or later to medieval times. Some important years to note include the founding of the League of Nations in 1927, which defined more specifically the concept of slave traffic. “Traffic in women and children” was to be suppressed. Furthermore, more information was gleaned about the status of human trafficking at the time of the signing.

During World War II, Japan was accused of utilizing “comfort women” and setting up stations to exploit women of all backgrounds. In 1995, the United Nations held a world conference to address the issue of trafficking of women. After this conference, it was recognized that trafficking was in itself a violence against women. Nations also decided on the action plan, the way forward -- international conventions must be enforced, effective law enforcement and institutions must be supported to eliminate trafficking, programs for the rehabilitation and education of peoples must be implemented. In this way, the less tangible needs of victims may at last be addressed.

Indeed, the social, medical, and psychological needs of human trafficking victims are often unfathomable. Trauma exposure occurs in increasingly complex scenarios, and the effects of this complex trauma can be incredibly devastating on a person’s psyche. It is increasingly true that victims of human trafficking rely heavily on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charity organization help. Alongside NGOs and the individuals who dedicate their lives to affecting change by working to eliminate human trafficking, there are a number of outspoken governments who strive to enact useful policies against modern slavery.

In 2011, former US President Barack Obama declared January to be Human Trafficking Awareness month, and January 11 became National Human Trafficking Awareness day. Such a broad recognition of human trafficking atrocities was aimed to both increase awareness, but also to initiate serious action borne of consensus that human trafficking must end.

Current Situation

In France, there have been new laws passed to ensure human trafficking is curbed within French borders. It is also important, however, to work for complete global elimination of human trafficking, starting from an examination of France’s status as a destination source for victims of modern slavery.

In February of 2017, the French Parliament did successfully adopt a new law calling upon businesses to monitor their company and supply chains for human rights violations, including incidents of human trafficking. Countries like the UK have also adopted similar policies through its Modern Slavery Act.

Despite its numerous limitations, the French law became known as key to combating human trafficking. In fact, many activists against human trafficking see the law as able to hold the private sector accountable. Of course, human trafficking often makes human labor cheaper, and therefore may translate into a profitable criminal enterprise. In this way, victims of human trafficking are often sold into a life of slavery, working and laboring for little to no pay, basically no rights, and hardly any way out. Modern-day slavery not only exploits vulnerable populations for profit, it also undermines the free market as a stable source of global connection. Of the enslaved people of the world, 68 percent are exploited for labor reasons.

Therefore, by enlisting and forcing the participation of money-making enterprises, France is taking a step in the right direction in order to ask companies to do their due diligence, understand their supply chains, and apply ethical rules to their daily operations. Only through cooperation between the public and private sectors can the multi-dimensional issue of human trafficking be seen through comprehensive lenses.

According to the US Department of State, the government of France does indeed meet the minimum standards for human trafficking elimination. According to the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, France is ranked as a “Tier 1” country. Tier 1 countries represent governments that fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards. Tier 2 countries do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are seen to make significant efforts to comply. Tier 2 Watch List represents Tier 2 countries where:

  1. “The number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;

  2. There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or

  3. The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.”  

Tier 3 countries are those whose governments do not fully meet minimum standards and do not make significant efforts to do so.

France as a country is described as continuing to demonstrate “serious and sustained efforts” during the reporting period to identify victims, allocate funds to victim care services, and create specialized care centers for child victims of trafficking. Furthermore, the government has shown to confiscate assets from identified traffickers. However, there is still much more work to be done. Not only should policies reflect more emphasized training for those dealing with vulnerable populations, the US Department of State also argues that the government must screen for trafficking regularly in order to identify victims proactively.

The current situation section of this topic guide will focus on some of these lenses — illustrating more narrowly the relationship between the refugee/migrant crisis and human trafficking, the specific populations that prove to be most vulnerable to trafficking risks, the costs and benefits of current legislation, and social implications and economic factors.

Refugee Crisis and Vulnerability

Refugees are often identified as at particular risk for human trafficking. Evidently, many refugees have escaped from devastating locales, have experienced precarious situations, and are searching for a permanently safe and stable status. It is particularly despicable to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable groups in our society — those who have engaged with traumatic life experiences and searching for security from their new place of refuge.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, trafficking risks for refugees “are at ever-increasing levels worldwide.” First of all, refugees often face higher risks for human trafficking as they experience physical insecurity, marginalization, victimization by host societies, social isolations, or even lack of legal protection. In other words, refugees are used as political tools to advance certain causes disproportionality and are often flattened to seem uni-dimensional and homogenous instead of as complex social beings. As a result, the refugees found in Europe, including in France, often struggle to maintain their daily lives as a stable entity, often subject to dehumanizing rhetoric, terrible camp management, and lacking human rights. Therefore, traffickers may use this vulnerable period of transiting peoples’ lives to capture their time, lure them into modern slavery, and continue a life of oppression.

The Libyan modern slave trade caught the international community’s attention recently, pinning this tragically regular occurrence as a sensationalized event. Outside of the capital Tripoli, a video was released of men being sold at an auction for a mere $400. The footage shocked the world and refocused international efforts to combat the human trafficking of refugees and migrants. It was revealed that migrants and refugees stuck in Libyan border camps, attempting to reach Europe by sea, have been extorted or forced into the slave trade, where human bodies are sold and lives are devalued. Libya is indeed the main transit point for a lot of migrants and refugees, and 150,000 people have actually made the trek up across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya in each of the last three years. 3,000 refugees have died while attempting the journey, according to the International Organization for Migration. Countless others have been trafficked along the way. Leaders of Libya, France, Germany, Chad and Niger have already enacted a plan to evacuate the thousands of migrants stuck in Libyan detention camps, in order to offer a temporary fix to the modern slave trade in that area.

French President Macron spoke firmly on his visit to Africa, calling the abuse “a crime against humanity,” and vowed to “launch concrete military and policing action on the ground to dismantle those networks.” He also mentioned setting up initiatives to specifically target traffickers by creating a task force on the issue of human trafficking on refugees and migrants. The Rwandan foreign ministry also offered to provide asylum to 30,000 predominantly sub-Saharan Africans trapped in Libyan camps or in transit. This issue is indeed at the top of the African Union’s agenda, and the international community is monitoring the developments very closely.  

Further, since France is a destination country for many trafficked persons, the government has borne responsibility for monitoring the issue closely and as an issue of national importance. Men, women, and children from Eastern Europe, West Africa, and Asia are often subject to human trafficking with France as a destination, and these victims are predominantly found to be engaged in forced prostitution and forced labor. The migrants and refugees among this number pose to be particularly at threat of exploitation. The conditions in which migrants and refugees travel can be deadly, and they are also rife with opportunity to lure into trafficking rings with little to no oversight. In some situations, the migrants and refugees themselves may voluntarily choose to engage in sex work or manual labor in order to survive financially. Smugglers often promise that such work is incredibly lucrative, and barely any skills or documentation is needed in order to be hired. The allure of an easy fix out of a tough situation is indeed strong for those in vulnerable states and foreign lands. However, upon agreeing to work, many are then treated as slaves. They are abused, relocated to be further from home, and forced into deeper poverty than their original states.

In particular, trafficking victims fall into severe debt to their captors, as they were asked to borrow large amounts of money before engaging in work. Many are unaware and uneducated about this type of coercion, and enter the trade in order to gain safe passage into Europe, guarantee financial stability, or take care of families. Unsurprisingly, these payments act more as threats than anything else. According to Interpol, in 2015, an average of $3400 to $6800 was demanded of victims. Some traffickers then will use physical and sexual abuse to demand a return of payment. Effectively, these victims are prey, and are at the mercy of their captors. They often internalize their debt status, and live their lives in fear of the next payment. Tragically, these trafficking victims are unable to report their abuse, sometimes because their legal status in the host country like France is uncertain. They may fear that alerting the relevant authorities will lead to their own arrest, and that their abuser will get off scot-free.

In this way, some refer to the trafficking of migrants and refugees crassly as “multinational business.” Keeping in mind that travel by 90 percent of migrants into the EU is facilitated majorly by members of criminal networks, it is easy to understand the clear vulnerability presented by the refugee crisis to engage human trafficking activity. The difficulty therefore lies here; it is incredibly taxing to identify the hidden underground routes these criminal networks adopt. As soon as legislation is adopted and as soon as law enforcement is tipped off, these networks can fluidly adapt to the situation and change their modes of operation.

In particular, child refugees coming into Europe are incredibly vulnerable. Children are more than half of the refugee population, according to the UN. These children often find themselves parentless and may be living in extreme poverty. After reaching Europe, a reported ten thousand unaccompanied minor refugees were reported to be missing. A percentage of these minors are known to have fallen victim to trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Child trafficking/Sex trafficking

According to UNICEF, 1.2 million children are trafficked every year. This number, already horrifically high, does not even include the millions of children already held in captive by trafficking. It is also important to note that child trafficking victims are all around the world, from 127 countries and to 137 countries. In fact, some sources state that the United States is the “second highest destination for trafficked women in the world.” In these cases, the average age of exploited victim is between 12 and 13 years old, with some as young as 5 and 6 years.

The European Commission also identifies that a significant percentage of peoples trafficked each year are women and children. Articles 5 and 24 of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights probit trafficking in human beings, focused partly on the fact that a child’s best interests should be a “primary consideration in all situations, and that children have a right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being.” Although the abolition of child trafficking is said to be a main priority of European countries, there is a wide disparity in how member states enforce and deal with the issue of child trafficking. For example, different member states sanction, punish, and react to child trafficking violations in a multitude of ways. In this manner, the European policy is increasingly inconsistent, and does not seem to promote the interests of children as paramount. Ideally, the issue of prohibiting child trafficking should be addressed clearly within each state’s criminal law and legislations.  Most importantly, EU legislation should include comprehensive definitions, policies, guidelines, and procedures in order to most effectively facilitate child trafficking eradication. It is therefore a common demand for the European Union to step up more often and support member states with weak child trafficking legislation.

Specifically, some states lack the appropriate mechanisms and resources to protect and care for victims of child trafficking. Research has shown that the trauma inflicted on child trafficking victims are severe, persistent, and difficult to generalize case-by-case, thus difficult to treat. It is therefore of main priority for European governments to understand the best ways to protect and care for those who have fallen prey to trafficking. In fact, some may even argue that resources to care for these victims should be made obligatory for all European member states.

Sex trafficking is also often parsed out from the general heading of “human trafficking.” Not only does sex trafficking disproportionately target women, but it also contributes heavily to the continued marginalization of low-income groups, women of color, and migrant workers. Sex trafficking is primarily defined as transporting a person through coercion or deception in order to sell them into exploitative sex trade.

In France, the majority of foreign victims of sex trafficking are from areas of the world like Eastern Europe, West and North Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. In fact, among the 1,118 sex trafficking and aggravated pimping victims in 2016, 323 were French, 202 were Chinese, 114 Nigerian, 104 Romanian, and 375 of other nationalities. The government has also increased protection efforts, identifying more and more cases of victimization over the years. This is not only the result of improved monitoring efforts, but also increased access to hotlines and pipelines to destigmatize and make safer the reporting of sex trafficking crimes.

To make matters worse, there exist large and extensive sex trafficking networks in European countries like France. In France, these networks are controlled by Bulgarians, Nigerians, Romanians, Chinese, and French citizens who may force numerous women into a life of sex slavery. Sources have reported that these women are often manipulated into drug addiction, subject to debt bondage, physical force, and psychologically coercive acts.

There have been a variety of actions taken by the French government to combat sex trafficking. In 2016, the government passed the Law to Strengthen the Fight Against Prostitution. It is believed that demand for commercial sex will be reduced, since consumers would be penalized. This is one believed method of perhaps curtailing acts of sex trafficking. However, others view the government’s actions as lacking and half-hearted, as the illegal sex trade often operates beneath the guise of law. The government did also enact efforts to launch campaigns on child sex tourism. Heavy penalties are imposed to reduce demand.

Social implications and economic factors

In relation to France’s government, there have been a myriad of sources who have identified the social and economic implications of persistent human trafficking. Most prominently, the trauma inflicted on trafficking victims alters the social fabric in tangible ways.

In fact, individuals who have experienced such violence and trauma are most vulnerable to future exploitation. Socially, violence and abuse are normalized in some societies as shameful, secretive, and unable to be shared. Therefore, these victims find it extraordinarily difficult to reveal their traumatic pasts and confront the reality that is human trafficking. A variety of organizations have already pinpointed to needs of trafficking victims are “among the most complex of crime victims.” Not only do we need to address psychological and medical needs, we need to examine immigration, safety concerns, shelter, financial hardship, nourishment, among other pressing needs. This is of course all in addition to terrible ostracization, from both family members and society.

The Human Trafficking Hotline has identified these urgent facets of life trafficking victims need to obtain in order to ensure a road to recovery:

Emergency Services

  • Crisis Intervention and Counseling

  • Emergency Shelter and Referrals

  • Urgent Medical Care

  • Safety Planning

  • Food and Clothing

Social Services

  • Case Management

  • Interpretation

  • Housing

  • Job Training and Education

  • Court Accompaniment

  • Employment Assistance

  • Transportation

  • Healthcare

Legal Services

  • Immigration Status

  • Criminal Case Services

  • Civil Case Services

  • Witness Protection

  • Family Court Services

  • Legal Representation

  • Vacatur of Convictions

In relation to general impacts on society, the scourge of modern slavery through human trafficking does not get ignored. On the global stage, nations are coming together to punish those that facilitate human trafficking, and reward those who aim to make the world safer for all potential victims and survivors of these crimes. Socially, a society suffers when there is an underground economy that relies on the sale of human bodies, that destroys whole futures and human capital, and that removes the right of a human being to claim agency and self-worth. Economically, trafficking is a burden on society as well. In fact, there have been cost-benefit studies, specifically one in 2011 by the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Engagement Center, that found that it would cost more for local government to do nothing about human trafficking than for it to institute prevention programs. Indeed, the existence of human trafficking not only violates the basic decency of a human being, it also costs societies a lot of money.

In this way, countries have been red-flagging societies of note, other nation states that turn a blind eye to this human rights abuse. In this vein, nations have also attempted to bond together to prevent the threat of human trafficking from tainting international events. In the 2010 World Cup, for instance, South Africa’s problem with human trafficking came to the forefront of the debate. Increased cases of human trafficking were a given, and the international community pushed for the country to ramp up security, police presence, and be more wary of traffickers.  

Human trafficking and its eradication is fundamentally an issue of both human rights and national security. France’s increased law enforcement efforts, which you may read in detail here, have been impressive, but are still lacking in both depth and breadth. Some may argue that all law enforcement officers should be better trained to recognize trafficking indicators. Others mention that all victims of trafficking  should receive restitution, free appropriate housing, and even immigration documents. There is still a long way to go to address this multifaceted problem, and it is of utmost importance that France continues to recognize human trafficking as an eradicable scourge on society.

Questions to consider

What are ways in which France can curb the flow of trafficked humans through its borders?

How can refugees be best protected from exploitative situations and modern slavery?

What is the government’s role in fighting human trafficking around the world?

What ways can we encourage the reporting of trafficking incidents without fear?

Are anonymous hotlines to report trafficking effective and used responsibly?

Should prostitution be legalized in order to combat sex trafficking? Is it effective as a solution?

What are ways in which society can protect children and minors from being exploited and trafficked?

How can we make policy that systematically provides care and protection for trafficking victims?

Should the government provide restitution to victims?

How can technology surrounding data collection be used to better track and pursue human traffickers and trafficking rings?

Suggestions for Future Research

An Introduction to Human Trafficking: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime published this comprehensive guide to understanding human trafficking. Through the lenses of vulnerability, impact, and action, readers will get a better sense of how human trafficking has evolved in the 21st century.

Polaris: A leader in the fight to eradicate all forms of modern slavery. This organization put together a ground-breaking model that truly focuses on survivors of trafficking. They focus on restoring survivors’ freedom, preventing further incidents, and using data and tech to pursue traffickers.  

Science Direct article: This piece focuses on a very interesting conversation comparing legalize prostitution and human trafficking, attempting to find a trend or correlation to tell the story and inform policy-making.

European Commission: For specific information about France’s stance, actions, and continued position on human trafficking, please read this short summary of what the country’s government has focused on to combat human trafficking.

Impact of Human Trafficking PDF: Download this PDF to understand the nuances of human trafficking, specifically how the heinous act affects victims and society at large. This paper focuses on gender relations, women’s rights, health concerns, among other big topics related to human trafficking.