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The MIST: a specialized and innovative association

The Mist is a group of people who have been victims of procuring or trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation who mobilize to promote the identification of other victims, their protection, then their inclusion, in a process allowing them to enhance their experience. by helping other victims in turn.

This virtuous dynamic is based on a unique social intervention methodology developed with people who are victims of sexual exploitation. It aims to promote the creation of spaces allowing them to speak for themselves within an evolving framework, to empower themselves by taking part in the action and governance of the association, to work in favor of the production of recommendations, better access to rights for victims and the fight against the trivialization of violence or phenomena of influence within peer groups.

Created in January 2020 by a multidisciplinary team of professionals already experienced in the issues of the fight against human trafficking, the Mist is the first association of women victims of trafficking in France: half of the board of directors is made up of women having been trafficked as minors.

From its first year of existence (2020):

  • The association has become the first guidance service in France for the national Ac.Sé system, which allows victims in insecurity to be geographically removed to shelters in other regions of France (decree n ° 2007-1352 of September 13, 2007 relating to the admission to stay, protection, reception and accommodation of foreigners who are victims of human trafficking);
  • A group of members of the Mist made up civil parties, won the biggest sentence ever handed down in France for acts of trafficking in human beings at the Assises in Paris.

From its second year of existence (2021):

  • The Mist is a resource center for victims and professionals who meet and support them, and a member of several dedicated national working groups coordinated by the Interministerial Mission for the Protection of Women against Violence and the Fight against Human Trafficking humans (MIPROF)
  • The peer mediators of the Mist were heard by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Greta) during France’s assessment of the correct application of the Warsaw Convention, then by the Commission National Consultative for Human Rights (CNCDH) within the framework of the drafting of an opinion on the prostitution of minors. In this opinion adopted on April 15, 2021, the CNCDH recommends in particular the development of collaborations with mediators and peer mediators to promote the identification and support of minors in prostitution (Recommendation 7).
  • The association signed a partnership with the Bareau de Paris to set up an unprecedented operating mode in a Parisian prostitution territory, between three Nigerian mediators and the volunteer lawyers of the Bus Paris Solidarity;

About us

The goals of this organization are:

  • To combat human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and to provide assistance to its victims, as part of a participatory action focused on community health.
  • To find, identify, shelter, and assist victims of trafficking in human beings for the purposes of sexual exploitation and prostitution, both adults and minors, regardless of gender.
  • To develop social, legal, and administrative actions in relation to its goals.
  • To implement a participatory methodology of community health and peer mediation in order to determine the objectives and the actions to be taken, to assess them and make public their results in order to share knowledge and power.
  • To advocate the protection of human trafficking victims’ rights, especially in terms of health, social protection and inclusion, fighting against racism and all forms of discrimination and exclusion. 
  • To promote the health of trafficked persons, by involving them in a collective action that fosters change dynamics and group-led norm transformation.
  • To promote the self-reliance of trafficked persons, including their economic self-reliance, through education, training, and access to the job market.
  • To help in any way possible those who wish to leave prostitution.
  • To assist victims by bringing civil actions before national and European courts if necessary.
  • To conclude agreements with organizations or institutions pursuing the same objectives

 

Activities

A resource center for victims of trafficking and the professionals who accompany or meet them

Mist informs, guides and supports victims of trafficking in accessing their rights. Mist also supports volunteers, social workers or educational teams who accompany victims, through information, training or the setting up of co-accompaniment protocols if necessary.

Information and guidance for victims, reception by peers, support and training for professional.

To make an appointment: contact@mist-association.org

An office for access to rights in the Bois de Vincennes co-hosted by the Mist and the volunteer lawyers of the Paris Bar’s Solidarity Bus

In 2003, the Paris Bar Association initiated a large-scale operation involving volunteer lawyers in Paris, in order to help people in precarious situations through free legal consultations, and more particularly via a bus called the “Solidarity Bus”. This system makes it possible to hold consultations as close as possible to people who have particular difficulties in accessing the law in the Paris area. Victims of human trafficking are amongst those people who are far from the institutional mechanisms for accessing the law. In order to provide these people with appropriate solutions, the Solidarity Bus has therefore joined forces with the Mist to offer joint offices in one of the main places of prostitution in Paris.

Reception and free legal consultations every other Friday, Bus de la Solidarité, Bois de Vincennes.

A Mist office at the 18th arrondissement’s Point d’Accès au Droit (Law Access Point)

The Point d’Accès au Droit (PAD) is open to all and offers free legal information and consultations, help and support in administrative and legal procedures as well as access to mediation and conciliation. The centre is staffed by specialised lawyers, lawyers from the Paris Bar Association, notaries, legal advisors on access to rights, delegates of the rights defender, and representatives of the City of Paris mediator. The Mist also offers a weekly service for victims of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation in order to inform them of their rights and support them in their efforts to take action.

Free reception and information every Friday morning, PAD 18e 2 rue de Suez 75018 Paris.

To make an appointment:  contact@mist-association.org

The Mist refers people to the national Ac.sé scheme

The national Ac.Sé scheme offers accommodation and support at a geographical distance from the place of residence of the victim of trafficking who is at risk or in a very vulnerable situation. The national Ac.Sé scheme is an integral part of the protection measures for victims of trafficking in France, as cited in Decree No. 2007-1352 of 13 September 2007 on the admission to residence, protection, reception and accommodation of foreign victims of human trafficking. The Mist is a partner of the national Ac.Sé scheme and is the main referral service in 2020.

www.acse-alc.org

Referral to shelter in another region of France and telephone support by peers.

Artistic expression workshops at the Maison Pratiques Artistiques Amateurs (MPAA) in Paris

The Maison Pratiques Artistiques Amateurs is a cultural establishment of the City of Paris, spread over 5 Parisian sites. Its mission is to encourage, develop and promote amateur artistic practices across Paris and Greater Paris. The Mist organizes collective artistic expression workshops there for women who have been victims of human trafficking. In 2021, workshops are being set up in partnership with filmmaker Clement Sibony for women who wish to produce a live show on the Nigerian slave trade.

Theater, song and dance workshops, every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the MPAA in Paris 11th.

Self-managed podcast creation workshops

Within the framework of small groups, the women of the Mist organize workshops for the production of podcasts which are real groups of words. They freely discuss subjects chosen collectively and record themselves through the use of dedicated equipment.
belonging to the association. They are all responsible for the construction of the discussions and the content of the podcasts that will be produced. They choose together at the end of the sessions the extracts they agree to broadcast.

For any information: contact@mist-association.org

Our team

Our Chairperson is Mrs. S. She is a naturalized French citizen and is graduated as a medical/psychological assistant. Today, she fights for a greater participation of trafficked persons in the processes of drawing up and implementing public policies that will combat human trafficking in France. She supports the development of a collective action with and for trafficked persons: to mobilize Nigerian women, who are largely affected by a phenomenon that has been going on in Europe for over 25 years, but also other affected communities with the aim to get them involved in this action as well. 

Our Chief Administrative Officer is Mrs. Sarah THEVENON, who has been at the head of a reception center for asylum seekers for ten years. She has seen a growing number of Nigerian women, victims of trafficking, sometimes minors, forced to apply for asylum by their traffickers, tossed around through different services and administrations without being protected or even detected by the system. She has played an important role in developing a training program and building a network of partners, with the aim of overcoming the many challenges that many Nigerian women face when seeking shelter and protection through asylum. She supports actions that address the many challenges still to be met in terms of identification, access to asylum, and protection for all trafficked persons, adults and minors alike, regardless of gender.

Our Treasurer is Mr. Clément SIBONY, filmmaker. He has developed theatre projects with Nigerian women in Paris. From those, a collective desire gradually grew, to get involved in community works and to join the fight against trafficking. He is now developing a film project with them to report on the issue of freedom of speech, both individual and collective, for women victims of trafficking. He supports the emergence and implementation of all artistic or socio-cultural projects within the association.

Half of the Board consists of former victims of trafficking.

Among the Board members, there are also : 

Marine THISSE is a lawyer ; she supports victims of trafficking for 15 years. In asylum, criminal or administrative proceedings, she fights for their rights and the proper enforcement of the national and international laws which protect them.  She obtained the Refugee status for the Nigerian victims of trafficking from Edo State : http://www.cnda.fr/Ressources-juridiques-et-geopolitiques/Actualite-jurisprudentielle/Selection-de-decisions-de-la-CNDA/CNDA-24-mars-2015-Mlle-E.F.-n-10012810-C.

Elodie APARD is an historian by training ; she is the director of the French Research Institute in Nigeria (IFRA-Nigeria), based in Ibadan. She coordinated several collectives and interdisciplinary research programs on trafficking for sexual exploitation from Nigeria to France. Within Mist, she is in charge of developing exchanges between association’s members and African scholars – especially Nigerian researchers – in order to promote innovative forms of knowledge transmission.  

http://www.ifra-nigeria.org/former-research-programs/human-trafficking

http://www.ifra-nigeria.org/ongoing-research-programs/packing

Director: Vanessa Simoni

Development: Aurélie Jeannerod, Tadzio

Administrative and financial: Caroline Martin

Community manager: Flora Enifo

Mediation : Osariemen Uhunmwangho

Clinical psychologist: Caroline Legrez