The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that there are approximately 129,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in France. France is a destination, transit and, to a lesser extent, source country for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and sex trafficking. People from Romania and West and North Africa are forced to commit crimes including petty theft and are often subjected to forced begging. They are often lured to the country by false job offers as they seek a better life for their families.
Florin needed money to repair his house when he was offered a job in France. However, upon arrival, Florin was taken to live with a gypsy family and was forced to beg on the streets.
I needed money to repair the house and for a living and I decided to give it a try. I spoke with the villagers who were also going to leave and they also thought it would be fine. I never asked questions about the job or the payment. I thought that it would certainly be better than here, in Romania. While being in S. (the neighbouring town), I heard that people are leaving to work in France. One day, when I went to S., at the market, a stranger told me that if I’m interested to work abroad, in construction, he will help me. I asked who would ensure the transport and when should we leave and he said that he was taking the people over there by car and that we will live in a house until we earn some money and rent a place. And after three days I left. It is true that I never asked too many questions, but I knew that others went as well and I needed the money. I never thought that something bad might happen. Furthermore, I had nothing to lose; I did not need money for the departure.
I have spoken with other people from villages, who were also going to leave, and I thought it would be fine.
When we arrived in France I was taken to a house where I saw several gypsies and I was left there, both me and the other people brought from Romania …. where I used to live was with a gypsy family, but others used to come visit, saying that they also have people begging for them
I felt worse and worse, I was feeling exhausted, coughing, I was cold all the time, but there was no way I could go and see a physician.
Narrative B44 provided by National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons