France condemned by court over slavery case

26th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, July 26 (AFP) - The European Court of Human Rights condemned France Tuesday for being too lenient in a case of domestic slavery involving a young Togolese woman who worked without pay for four years.

STRASBOURG, July 26 (AFP) - The European Court of Human Rights condemned France Tuesday for being too lenient in a case of domestic slavery involving a young Togolese woman who worked without pay for four years.

The court condemned France under article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits "slavery or servitude" and said it regretted that these two specific crimes "as such were not punishable under French criminal law".

The case involved Siwa-Akofa Siliadin, known as 'Henriette', who was 15 years old when she arrived in France in 1994 and was employed until July 1998 by a family who had promised that she would be educated and provided with a residence permit.

On May 15, 2003, the appeal court of Versailles convicted the couple for making a "dependent and vulnerable person" work without pay and ordered them to pay the woman EUR 15,245 in damages.

However the court found that the working and living conditions were not incompatible with human dignity as defined under the French criminal law.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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