Since September 2013 and in order to prepare for the transposition of the Procedures and Reception Conditions Directives from 26 June 2013, the French Protection Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) has set up five thematic groups of representatives including one on “Trafficking in Human Beings” (THB).
Each group provides support to adapt OFPRA’s guidelines to the new legal provisions and to the examination of asylum claims related to their thematic field. Victims of trafficking seeking asylum are interviewed by protection officers who are trained or supported by trained officers from the thematic group.
Since 2015, interpreters in their turn are informed of the issue of THB. Both the protection officer and interpreter can be of the preferred gender of the asylum applicant if this is justified by the grounds for his or her claim.
The thematic group on THB is also building up an information sharing and consultation mechanism together with civil society organisations and institutional partners. This contributes to harnessing the potential for cooperation between all relevant stakeholders to improve the identification of victims of THB among asylum seekers and take into account their specific needs throughout the asylum process.