Unveiling the Reality: Human Trafficking and the Paris Olympics

Please note that this assessment is based on open-source research, input from subject matter experts on the ground, survivor accounts, and data analysis.

As the excitement builds around major sporting events like the Olympics, it’s essential to shine a light on a dark reality often overshadowed by these events: human trafficking. While the exact extent of human trafficking remains challenging to quantify due to its clandestine nature, numerous studies have highlighted a disturbing trend—the surge in demand for commercial sex services surrounding these events.

The influx of visitors to the games, particularly corporate guests seeking entertainment, including commercial sex services, amplifies the potential for exploitation and human trafficking. Despite the immense revenue generated by the sports industry globally, the profits from human trafficking far surpass them, painting a grim picture of exploitation overshadowing the spectacle.

Traffickers capitalise on this surge in demand by strategically advertising their services through online escort ads and social media platforms. Major sporting events act as magnets, drawing traffickers in masses to cater to the increased demand from event attendees.

Recent data sheds light on the disturbing trends surrounding human trafficking and commercial sex services in Paris, particularly in anticipation of the upcoming Olympics.

Here’s what we know:

Recruitment trends:

  • The demographic profile of those advertised for commercial sex services in Paris has shifted significantly over the last ten months. Ukrainian, Russian, and Chinese nationals now comprise a substantial portion of those advertised.
  • Notably, nearly 50% of all ads reference the term ‘Teen,’ suggesting either a preference for recruiting younger individuals or catering to the demand for such demographics.
  • Additionally, many advertisers use Estonian cell phone numbers, particularly in Ukrainian and Russian ads. This raises questions about trafficking routes and operational tactics employed by traffickers.

Demand dynamics:

  • Despite legislative measures criminalising sex purchases in France since 2016, enforcement remains limited, allowing the illicit market to thrive.
  • The disproportionate use of the term ‘Teen’ in ads underscores the nature of current or anticipated demand, highlighting the exploitation of vulnerable youth.
  • Moreover, many ads offer in-call services in private apartments, indicating the prevalence of short-term lets as ‘pop-up’ brothel houses utilised by traffickers.


  • Ads indicate exorbitant prices for commercial sex services, with rates as high as €300 per hour and €3,000 per day. This suggests substantial monthly incomes for individuals involved in commercial sex exploitation.
  • Traffickers operate as small-scale businesses, requiring access to financial services for transactions, travel expenses, accommodation, and cash deposits. The sheer scale of the market for commercial sex in Paris is surprising, likely generating billions of euros annually.

In conclusion, the conjunction of major sporting events and human trafficking demands urgent attention and action. By shedding light on these dark realities, we can work together to prevent human trafficking and protect vulnerable individuals.

Info requirements

  1. Survivor Feedback: STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT) seeks more information on survivor feedback regarding payment and travel patterns, particularly among Ukrainian and Russian nationals. Understanding survivors’ experiences can provide crucial insights for targeted intervention and support.

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