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Prostitution > The ac.sé network


Shelter and protect victims
of the trafficking in human beings

The phenomena of the trafficking in human beings present in France since the early 1990's developed progressively to "explode" in the middle of 1999. That is when large metropolitan cities as well as small provincial towns discovered with amazement the massive presence of young women of sub-Saharan Africa and/or East European origin who were participating in street prostitution.

The question of the protection of victims was very quickly posed, in particular when it was outside of networks. Social, medical, associative, and institutional personnel are not able to guarantee complete security in a context of deficient specific provisions to assure the protection of victims: places made secure by police, available 24/7.

The experience of ALC-SPRS in Nice has shown that welcoming victims in a distant place by a classic housing structure which is sensitized to the problem is a satisfactory solution. That is how in 2001, to be able to respond to a pressing need and to respond to a request from the General Direction of Social Action (Direction Générale de l'Action Sociale,) ALC-SPRS proposed starting a national and experimental welcome and protection plan for the victims of the trafficking in human beings. Since then, the project has been confirmed and its means reinforced.


It is a national plan which relies on a network connecting:

structures specialized in accompanying and supporting prostitutes
shelters spread throughout the country

It is not a default housing solution.


Victim protection rests on geographic distancing, the multiplicity of shelters and the confidentiality of their location.


All adult French or foreign women, whether or not legal, without any distinction, single or with children, victims of procuring or of the trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation.

The women must be in a dangerous or highly vulnerable situation requiring geographic distancing.


All associative or institutional personnel in contact with the concerned public can solicit the Ac.Sé plan regardless of their geographic location. In order to do so, just contact the coordination Ac.Sé.:


Direct admissions are not possible for security reasons. An association or institutional operator will systematically be the intermediary.

1. The operator who submits the request to the coordination should evaluate the situation to verify if this is the right solution. It is important to get total commitment from the oriented person to the proposal which is made (geographic distancing, not to give out any information about the network's addresses, breaking contact with all persons directly or indirectly linked with mafia networks, …)

2. Next is the orientation request; the coordination responds within 48 hours with a possibility of shelters. The date and the integration procedure are determined between the applicant and the shelter.

3. The victims are systematically physically accompanied to the shelter. The travel costs are reimbursed by the plan's coordination.

4. The plan gives 304 euros to each person approved for entrance into the plan and the network.


The current legal scope only allows authorizing residence permits to victims of the trafficking in human beings having cooperated (filing a complaint or witnessing).

During the period of the criminal proceedings, the victim can get a 6-month temporary residence permit with authorization to work. Once the persons accused are definitively convicted, a permanent residence card may be issued.

The police can consider the fact that the victim continues to work as a prostitute as an obstacle to issuing any type of residence permit.


The law 2003-239 dated March 18, 2003 for interior security introduces incrimination for "trafficking in human beings" into French law:

Penal Code Art. 225-4-1. "The trafficking in human beings is the fact of recruiting, transporting, transferring, housing, welcoming, or putting a person at the disposal of a third party, even unidentified, in exchange for remuneration or any other benefits or the promise of remuneration or benefits, in order to either allow the commission against this person of pimping infractions, aggression or sexual harm, utilizing begging, work or living conditions contrary to their dignity, or to force this person to commit any crime or misdemeanor."

The legislator also planned for assistance to the victims with the following conditions:

Art. 42. "All persons victim of exploitation by prostitution should benefit from a system of protection and of assistance assured and coordinated by the administration in active collaboration with various social services."

Art. 43. Article L. 345-1 of the social and family action code is completed by the following paragraph:
"Places in shelters and social reintegration are open to welcome the victims of the trafficking in human beings in security reassuring conditions."

Art. 76. Issuing an alien resident permit
"Except if her presence constitutes a threat to public order, a temporary residence permit can be issued to a foreigner who files a complaint against a person she accuses of having committed infractions against her cited in articles 225-4-1 to 225-4-6 and 225-5 to 225-10 of the penal code or witnesses in a criminal proceeding concerning a person pursued for these same infractions. This temporary residence authorization gives the right to work in a professional activity.
In the case of a definitive conviction of the person accused, a resident card may be issued to the foreigner having filed the complaint or witnessed."

Contact et coordination Association ALC-SPRS - Nice
Boîte Postale 1532
F-06009 NICE CEDEX 1
Email : ac.se@association-alc.org
Web site : http://acse-alc.org/



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