Le Département d’Etat américain vient de publier son rapport annuel sur la traite des êtres humains. 185 pays sont passés au crible. l’Algérie, la République démocratique du Congo, la Libye, la Corée du Nord et l’Arabie saoudite sont parmi les moins bien notés. Voir aussi ci dessous ce que le rapport dit de la France…
WASHINGTON, 19 juin 2012 (AFP) – Près de 27 millions de personnes seraient réduites en esclavage dans le monde à l’heure actuelle, a indiqué la secrétaire d’Etat américaine Hillary Clinton, au moment où les Etats-Unis dévoilaient mardi 19 juin leur rapport annuel sur le trafic d’êtres humains. Des progrès dans la lutte contre ce “fléau” ont toutefois été accomplis, grâce notamment aux poursuites engagées contre les trafiquants par un nombre croissant de gouvernements, relève ce rapport. Des 185 pays étudiés dans le rapport, seuls 33 se conforment aux textes existants au niveau international instaurés pour mettre au fin au trafic d’êtres humains, telle que la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme.
Parmi les 17 pays les moins bien notés, se trouvent l’Algérie, la République démocratique du Congo, la Libye, la Corée du Nord et l’Arabie saoudite. La Syrie, elle, a fait son entrée sur la liste noire des pays accusés de trafic d’êtres humains, car “le gouvernement syrien n’applique pas les mesures destinées à éliminer le trafic (d’êtres humains) et ne fait aucun effort en ce sens”, explique le rapport américain.
L’abolition de l’esclavage aux Etats-Unis en 1865 “et dans d’autres pays n’a malheureusement pas signifié la fin de l’esclavage” dans son ensemble, a estimé Mme Clinton: “On estime aujourd’hui à 27 millions le nombre de personnes victimes d’esclavage à travers le monde, ce qui est parfois aussi appelé trafic d’êtres humains”. “En dépit de l’adoption de traités et de lois qui interdisent l’esclavage, les faits montrent que nombre d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants vivent en esclaves des temps modernes en raison du fléau qu’est le trafic d’êtres humains”, a souligné la secrétaire d’Etat: “Les victimes de l’esclavage moderne sont des hommes et des femmes, des fillettes et des garçons dont l’histoire nous rappelle de quels traitements inhumains nous sommes capables”.
“Un siècle et demi après la victoire de la liberté aux Etats-Unis, cette liberté continue à n’être qu’une illusion pour des millions de personnes”, a-t-elle écrit dans la préface du rapport. Le 1er juin, l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT) avait annoncé que près de 20,9 millions de personnes, dont près d’un quart ont moins de 18 ans, sont en situation de travail forcé dans le monde, occupant des postes qui leur ont été imposés par la contrainte ou la tromperie. Mais à en croire Luis CdeBaca, chargé de la lutte contre le trafic d’êtres humains au département d’Etat, “d’autres estimations s’approchent de 27 millions” de personnes. “Il y a des progrès. Certains pays adoptent des lois et commencent à s’attaquer à ce problème”, a-t-il cependant admis. Hillary Clinton a d’ailleurs souligné que 29 pays étudiés dans le rapport étaient remontés dans le classement établi par le département d’Etat, “ce qui signifie que les gouvernements prennent les mesures adéquates”.
Ce que le rapport du Departement d’Etat dit de la France:
France is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children from Eastern Europe, West Africa, and Asia, as well as the Caribbean and Brazil, subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. France is also a limited source country for French citizens subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Sex trafficking networks controlled by Bulgarians, Romanians, Nigerians, and French citizens force women into prostitution through debt bondage, physical force, andpsychological coercion, including the invocation of voodoo.
Women and children, many from Africa, South Asia, or Brazil,continued to be subjected to forced domestic service. Many of these cases were reportedly inter-familial, in which families exploited family members brought from Africa to work in their households in France; other cases involved a small number of diplomats. Victims in domestic servitude are often falsely promised education; when they arrive in France, they are required to surrender their passports and live in isolation in the family’s household.
The Government of France estimates that the majority of the 20,000 people in France’s commercial sex trade, about 75 percent of whom are foreigners, are likely forced into prostitution. There are also reports that a significant number of children, primarily from Romania, West Africa,and North Africa, are victims of sex trafficking in France.The economic crisis in neighboring countries has led to an increase in the number of child victims of trafficking. Thegovernment observed an increase in the number of criminalnetworks exercising violence against people in prostitution,including Chinese victims. Roma and other unaccompanied minors in France continued to be vulnerable to forced begging and forced theft. Some French citizens were documented tohave participated in sex tourism in foreign countries. Womenand children from Brazil and Guyana were subjected to forcedlabor and sex trafficking in the French overseas territory of French Guiana.
The Government of France fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government’snumber of criminal cases classified as trafficking rather than as pimping, however, remained far below the estimated occurrence of trafficking in France. A report to parliament concluded that the charging of trafficking cases as pimping impaired international collaboration on criminal cases. Furthermore, victim protection efforts were limited by the system for granting residence permits to trafficking victims. According to experts, France did not administer its residency permit system for trafficking victims in a victim-centered manner, instead putting the needs of criminal investigations before the exigencies of victim care. Nevertheless, the French government funds a range of victim services through dedicated anti-trafficking NGOs. Law enforcement authorities also continued to increase the number of offenders convicted underthe trafficking statute. The government enhanced transparency through a broad congressional inquiry and reporting effort aimed at improving conditions for sex trafficking victims andindividuals in prostitution.
Recommendations for France: Increase implementation of France’s anti-trafficking statute, as directed in the Ministry of Justice Circular of November 1, 2009; increase anti-trafficking training for prosecutors and judges, ensuring that emphasis is placed on increasing the use of the trafficking statute; ensure the safety and confidentiality of trafficking victims during the course of investigations and trials; improve protections for all unaccompanied minors in France who are potentially victims of trafficking; improve implementation of proactive identification procedures and referral for potential trafficking victims, including through offering more training to officials who work in asylum; offer residency permits to all identified victims; consider eliminating, reducing, or allowing waivers for victims’ residency permit fees to encourage more victims to apply; soften the requirement that victims of trafficking participate in the prosecution of trafficking offenders in order to receive long-term benefits; ensure that victims are thoroughly explained their rights, including the right to a residence permit and the prosecutor’s discretion to give a residence permit in the absence of a conviction, at the outset of any contact with the victim; enhance collection and compilation of law enforcement and victim assistance data, including a breakdown of types of involuntary servitude and prosecutions for forced labor; continue to establish a more victim-centered approachto trafficking in France, including measures to ensure victims who denounce their traffickers are provided with adequate safety and support; establish an independent national rapporteur to ensure consistent self-evaluation on anti trafficking activities; explore methods to improve trafficking victims’ access to restitution through the Crime Victims Compensation Program; and report on assistance provided to identified victims of trafficking in mainland France and in French Guinea.
The Government of France made modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period; the majority of trafficking offenses were still charged under non-trafficking statutes. France prohibits all forms of trafficking in personsthrough Article 225-4 of its penal code, which prescribes statutory maximum penalties of between seven years’ and life imprisonment for trafficking offenses. These prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate withthose prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Thegovernment continued to implement the policy specified ina Ministry of Justice circular, urging prosecutors to chargecases under the trafficking statute more frequently, evenwhen those cases are also charged as pimping, exploitationof begging, or under labor statutes. Nevertheless, a reportbefore parliament concluded that the trafficking statuteremained under-utilized in trafficking cases. The governmenthad difficulty collecting and reporting current data on itsanti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. In 2011, Frenchlaw enforcement authorities placed 40 individuals underformal investigation for human trafficking and opened 10new trafficking cases under Article 225-4. In 2010, the mostrecent year for which comprehensive data was available, Frenchauthorities convicted approximately 19 offenders under Article225-4-2, an aggravated trafficking section, compared withconvictions in three cases in 2009. The government alsoconvicted 42 offenders for the prostitution of children in 2010,compared with 17 convictions for the prostitution of childrenin 2009. In addition, in 2010, the government convicted 24individuals for the exploitation of begging, including at leasttwo offenders for forcing individuals into begging throughviolence or constraint. Some trafficking cases may be reflectedin the 508 convictions under the aggravated anti-pimpingstatute; approximately 15 percent of the original arrests in thosecases were for trafficking-specific offenses. In 2010, traffickingoffenders were sentenced to up to 30 years’ imprisonment,though some offenders were sentenced to terms of two yearsimprisonment with serious fines. Some severe trafficking offenders continued to receive very serious sentences; in 2011, two trafficking offenders charged under non-traffickingstatutes were sentenced to terms of thirty years’ imprisonment,the highest sentence available under French law. Expertsobserved that trafficking prosecutions were difficult whencertain parts of the trafficking offense, such as recruitment,took place outside of the country, thus requiring internationalcollaboration. The parliamentary report concluded that judgeswere reserving the use of the trafficking statute for cases inwhich the offense was especially serious, but cautioned thatboth victim protection and international cooperation wasbetter in cases charged under the trafficking statute becauseforeign governments responded to requests for informationmore readily in trafficking cases, instead of pimping cases. TheCentral Office for Combating Human Trafficking served asthe specialist and coordinating unit of the police, providingguidance to anti-trafficking prosecutions throughout thecountry. The Ministry of Justice trained prosecutors andmagistrates on France’s anti-trafficking laws. The Frenchgovernment trained police and distributed pocket-sized cardsto border police and NGOs on how to identify traffickingvictims. NGOs objected that authorities did not always grantprotection to trafficking victims’ families during the courseof trial; as a consequence, some trafficking victims’ familieshave been vulnerable to retaliation by traffickers. French lawenforcement authorities collaborated with several governments,including authorities in Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Nigeria,and Brazil, to investigate human trafficking cases. This year,the government investigated high profile sex trafficking casesinvolving trafficking networks from Eastern Europe, Brazil,and Nigeria. The government did not report the investigation,prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of any public officialfor complicity in trafficking in persons.
The government sustained its victim protection efforts duringthe reporting period, although the residency permit system didnot, in practice, offer protection to the majority of trafficking victims. The Government of France managed its anti-trafficking protection program, named Ac-Sé, for adult trafficking victims through a network of 49 NGO shelters funded, in part, by the central government and the City of Paris. Ac-Sé assists vulnerable adult victims of sex or labor trafficking; the programassisted over 60 victims of trafficking in 2011, providing shelter, legal, medical, and psychological services. Victims were also given access to French language classes and could have qualified for subsidized housing and job training programs. In2010, Ac-Sé assisted approximately 50 victims. These victims receive the equivalent of approximately $450 as an initial stipend from the government, and approximately $150 per month subsequently. NGOs objected that the financial stipend was insufficient to permit victims to rehabilitate successfully.Victims had to wait an average of 40 days for access to a shelter.Other NGOs, partially funded by the central or municipal governments, operated shelters and emergency apartments to give care to other trafficking victims. While French authorities did not report overall funding allocations to NGOs for victims of trafficking, the central government, municipal governments,and the City of Paris provided at least the equivalent of three million dollars to NGOs for victim assistance in 2011.The government reported that police identified 654 trafficking victims in 2011; French authorities identified 688 trafficking victims in 2010. The government did not report the number of victims it referred to care. Ac-Sé had guidelines for victim identification. Nevertheless, reports concluded that some first responders, including those interacting with asylum applicants, needed a stronger and more proactive response to victim identification. The report observed that some trafficking victims attempted to claim asylum with stories devised by traffickers.Victims of trafficking were eligible for six months’ or one year’s temporary residency permits, provided they file a formal complaint against their exploiters and made efforts to reintegrate into French society. Victims of trafficking may work or leave the country during trial proceedings. These permits were available during the duration of the criminal process and automatically become permanent upon an offender’s conviction. In cases in which offenders were not convicted, local prefects had the discretion to grant permanent residency cards to victims. Nevertheless, victims are often not informed that prosecutors have this discretion until they are deported. A government-funded report concluded that these residency permits were insufficient for granting all trafficking victims effective access to justice, particularly when the case was not formally classified under the trafficking statute. The French government did not report the number of trafficking-specific residency permits granted, but a report to parliament concluded that very few trafficking victims benefitted from the residency permits and that these permits were not always available to victims when the trafficking offenders had already been identified. The Ministry of Justice reports that it is focusing on improving the consistent and effective application of the temporary residency regulations throughout France. A limited number of trafficking victims also received permanent residency in cases of grave threat through the National Asylum Court. Trafficking victims were eligible to receive restitution through the Crime Victims Compensation Program; only two victims of trafficking have received compensation through the program since its inception.There were no reports that identified trafficking victims werepenalized for crimes committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.
The government sustained its prevention efforts during there porting period. The City of Paris, the Interior Ministry, the Justice Ministry, and NGOs launched a working group in February 2012 to address sex trafficking, focusing on improving victim housing and reintegration. The French government supported anti-trafficking projects in many countries, including through direct funding of victim care through French embassies. The government, through the French International Technical Police Cooperation Service and French embassies, also funded training for foreign governmentson trafficking victim identification and prosecution. The French government works closely with source countries on preventing trafficking. In January 2012, France and Bulgaria began a joint project to prevent trafficking in persons. The French government funded programs through airlines and tourism operators describing the penalties for sex tourism. The French government took criminal action against some French citizens who had engaged in sex tourism abroad. In July 2011,a Paris magistrate investigated a 65-year-old French citizen for sexual abuse of minors in the Philippines. France requested the extradition of a French citizen, accused of engaging in sex tourism abroad, who had been convicted of similar crimes in France. All tourism students in France were obligated to take course work on preventing sex tourism. The French government cooperated with other EU countries to identify common trafficking victim identification guidelines. In 2011, the French government focused on addressing the demand for commercial sex. In April 2011, parliament released an extensive report on prostitution in France, as part of an effort to examine how best to shape policy on prostitution, including addressing demand. Nevertheless, the French government did not take any broad based public awareness campaigns on human trafficking. The French government provided anti trafficking training to all peacekeeping troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peace keeping missions.