We hope that through educating our audience that not only will the issue of prostitution and human trafficking receive more visibility, but that stakeholders will be better equipped to combat all forms of commercial sexual exploitation.
The Scelles Foundation was founded in 1994 by Jean and Jeanne Scelles with the mission to combat all forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Jean Scelles first discovered his passion to help those who are victims of this gross violation of human rights in 1941, while he was serving time as a political prisoner in Algeria. During his imprisonment, Jean shared a cell with a pimp who would often gloat about his past work of exploiting and using women. The pimp would go into detail, describing how he “trained,” “brain-washed” and “broke-in” the girls whom he exploited to get them to obey and scare them from attempting to escape. The pimp’s stories sickened Jean to the point where, upon Jean’s release, he made it his life goal to bring an end to prostitution and modern-day slavery.
Jean and his wife Jeanne established the Scelles Foundation with a burning passion to fight for the right of all women and children to maintain their human dignity. Jean and Jeanne also desired to educate the public as to the real picture of prostitution and the ramifications of commercial sexual exploitation. They wanted to create the foundation as a way to influence politics so that prostitution and human trafficking could sit at the forefront of the French and global agendas. Finally, the couple wished to see traffickers punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Today, the Scelles Foundation has made exemplary strides in the abolitionist and anti-human trafficking fields. Under the guidance of current president, Yves Charpenel, Deputy General Prosecutor of France’s Supreme Court, the Scelles Foundation played an essential role in pushing for and obtaining the 2016 French law on prostitution which decriminalizes the act of solicitation while holding buyers accountable for their actions.
In March 2017, in coordination with Coalition against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment (SPACE) International, the Scelles Foundation hosted a conference at the French General Consulate in New York, NY on strategies to address prostitution and sex trafficking.
We produce high-quality research materials in order to educate the public and various stakeholders as to the complexities surrounding the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. In 2016, we produced the Scelles Foundation’s 4th Annual Global Report on Human Trafficking which can be found here: