Human trafficking occurs in almost every country in the world and can be described by 3 categories (countries can be any combination of these):
1. Origin countries: The countries (or area in a country) from where victims originate. Most of these countries are economically weak and have limited education and job opportunities. This makes the population vulnerable. There is often a history of war or other incidences of extreme violence, which destroys the infrastructure and leaves the population unprotected. Organized crime and corruption often reign and the value of life is diminished. Nigeria, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania and the Balkan area are prime examples of origin countries.
2. Destination countries: Trafficking is first of all a business, therefore destination countries include those which have a high demand for cheap workers, prostitution, etc. It is all about profit maximization for the business involved, be it factory, restaurant, brothel or street prostitution. Highest profit is found in wealthy countries where there are great demand and resources. Globalization of ideas, information and the media create a dream of “a better life” in these destination countries leaving potential victims vulnerable to trafficker’s promises. Western Europe, especially Germany, France and Italy, are examples of destination countries.
3. Transit countries: International trafficking moves along important and busy trade routes that have been used for hundreds of years for all kinds of goods. While there is a high chance of exploitation along these trade routes, the main role the countries on these routes play is to move victims to a more profitable place. This occurs when a victim is taken from their origin country, through a secondary country (transit country) on their way to the destination country. An example of this would be a Nigerian who is trafficked from Nigeria (origin country), through the saharan desert to Morocco (transit country) and then smuggled to France (destination country), where they are exploited.
In our experience, France is primarily a transit and destination country.