May 13th, 2013
01:55 PM ET

France celebrates abolition; but modern slavery continues

As France commemorated the 150th anniversary of its abolition of slavery, modern forms are regularly surfacing.

Sylvie O'Dy, president of the Committee Against Modern Slavery, said 122 people were freed from bondage last year in France and she believes that figure is the tip of the iceberg.

Tina Okpara was legally adopted in her native Nigeria and taken to France by football star Godwin Okpara and his wife.

Her birth family agreed to adopting the 12-year-old girl thinking she was heading off to a better life, but once in France, she was kept out of school and made to work as a domestic, sexually abused and mutilated. After running away, she eventually managed to convince local authorities of her plight. The Okparas were convicted and jailed.

In another case, a Cambodian refugee named Sok was held in cruel conditions and – according to his lawyer - forced to work by a French mother and daughter who took advantage of his mental incapacity for more than 10 years. Denied medical treatment he pulled out his own teeth with a pliers. Eventually the French women were taken to court. Sok is now a ward of the state.

May 13th, 2013
01:24 PM ET

Running 1,000 miles to fight trafficking

CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney talks to a group of long-distance runners raising awareness about human trafficking.

Post by:
Topics: How to Help • In The News