L'oeil public


Slavery in France was abolished in 1848. Yet it has not disappeared. 334 cases of slavery were reported in 2007 by the CCEM (Commitee Against Modern Slavery). Poverty,discrimination and social exclusion feed all forms of modern slavery. The most frequent form concerns domestic slavery.
For the most part,it is young women who leave their country on the advice of a relative or friend already established in France with promises of work and studies. Upon their arrival the disenchantment is complete. Their identity papers are confiscated and they find themselves forced to work without pay,sometimes till late in the evening,as maids for families of every social stratum.
Far from home,in a strange country,with sometimes no command of the french language,these women feel incapable of fleeing an apartment promising a family atmosphere which is quickly transformed into a prison.
For those who succeed in escaping,the trauma of this situation is enormous. They often must re-adapt to freedom and learn to trust people again. It is a long and difficult road,especially as those who enslaved these women are often only given a slap on the wrist (suspended sentences or fines).

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