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


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.  



Director: Vanessa Simoni

Development: Aurélie Jeannerod, Tadzio

Administrative and financial: Caroline Martin

Community manager: Flora Enifo

Mediation : Osariemen Uhunmwangho

Clinical psychologist: Caroline Legrez