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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                

French Republic (France)

France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public health and welfare.

France's tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe - at nearly 50% of GDP in 2005. With at least 75 million foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in France.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


The ATD Fourth World Movement

Gérald Bitoun, Share International, April 1999

[accessed 15 May 2011]

A report on homelessness and poverty in France and the organization which, for 40 years, has sought to keep this human crisis before the eyes and ears of government


Population:  60 million

Unemployed:  3 million

Estimated homeless:  1 million

Background Information on Global Themes - Children

Compass - A Manual on Human Rights Education with Young people

[accessed 15 May 2011]

[accessed 29 November 2016]


CHILDREN IN EUROPE... - In France, the phenomenon of street children began to constitute a significant problem in the 1980s. Some authorities consider that there might be as many as 10,000 street children, although others estimate that the number is much lower.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 8 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The government was strongly committed to children's rights and welfare; it amply funded systems of public education and medical care. The Ministry for Family Affairs oversees implementation of the government's programs for children.

Public schooling is provided free through the age of 18, and education is compulsory for citizens and non-citizens between the ages 6 to 16. However, after the October unrest, the prime minister proposed that some youth be allowed to leave school at age 14 to enter into apprenticeships. Although not compulsory, preschool and kindergarten for children under age six is free and widely available. According to INSEE, during the school year 2003-2004, the percentage of school age children who attended school was 100 percent for ages 3 to 13; but the percentage dropped to 99.6, 98.6, and 97.3 percent for ages 14, 15, and 16, respectively. Most children completed the equivalent of high school. There was no evidence of significant differences between the attendance of girls and boys at the primary, secondary, and postsecondary levels.

France National Report 2004 For The European Observatory On Homelessness: Statistics Update [PDF]

Elisabeth Maurel, European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless FEANTSA, November 2004

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

The survey uses the concept of “houseless”, which is broader than “shelterless” because it includes people who drift from one form of shelter to another without necessarily living on the street. The operative definition used was: anyone sleeping in a location not meant for human habitation or taken in charge by an organization providing accommodation free or for a small co-payment.

The range of locations not meant for human habitation includes, for example, public spaces, the street, gardens, tube stations, mainline railway stations, airports, derelict buildings, huts, caves, warehouses, factories, cars, trains, cellars, car parks, etc., but excludes improvised shelters (temporary structures, building site sheds, immobilized caravans, etc.) which are to do with housing deficiency rather than being shelterless.

The survey estimated the number of people who had used either a temporary accommodation or meal site service at least once during one week in January 2001 as 93 000 adults (and 16 000 children), of whom 70 000 were houseless as defined above.

Street children Statistics

Council of Europe

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

France has about 10,000 street children. (Council of Europe)

Children Living on the Street

KELLY, P.J.; GRAJCER, B.; RIGATO, F. D. Children Living on the Street. Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing (OBJN_ISSN 1676-4285), v.2, n.2, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 15 May 2011]

While the magnitude of the problem tends to be greater in less developed countries, there are still 7,000 street children in the Netherlands, 4,000 in Belgium, and 10,000 in France. The United States has about 500,000 under-age runaways and “throw-away” children.

Industrialized Countries - Commentary

The Progress of Nations 1998

[accessed 4 June 2019]

France has announced an ambitious program of building houses for the extremely disadvantaged and requisitioning vacant houses from institutional owners.

Praying for France's street children

Janey L. DeMeo, Orphans First - France's street children, 12 Aug 2003

[accessed 15 May 2011]

Street children are everywhere---even in France.  A friend of mine in Marseille recently saw a young girl, about seven-years-old, squatting in the middle of the busy streets in the hot sun.  She stayed there for hours, dehydrating while begging.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - France",, [accessed <date>]