NEWS:French couple jailed for modern day ``slavery''

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Subject: NEWS:French couple jailed for modern day ``slavery''
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.org)
Date: Thu Jun 10 1999 - 18:36:58 EDT


French couple jailed for modern day ``slavery''

PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - A French couple was sentenced to five months
behind bars on Thursday for using an illegal African immigrant as a
housekeeper without pay for five years, in conditions verging on slavery.

A Paris court also ordered the couple, Vincent and Aminata Bardet, to pay
100,000 francs ($16,000) in damages to a young Togolese woman who had
worked at their Paris home between 1994 and 1999.

The court dismissed accusations of ``inhumane and degrading treatment'' for
lack of sufficient proof but upheld charges of exploiting an illegal
immigrant without pay.

It was the second time this year a couple had been jailed in France for
keeping unpaid servants in conditions nearing slavery.


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