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.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Vanessa beltgens

    Poetry reflecting enslaved times in modern days:

    May 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  2. John Rundel

    Slavery: physical and spiritual....

    It is my understanding that physical enslave-ment is illegal everywhere on Earth. Do not miunderstand I
    hate physical slav-ery.But, the most inportant freedom is spiritual, because it it is eternal. But, if you do not know Jesus you are a slave of sin. The Bible tells us that the wage of sin is death. Never-theless you can be free from sin and have eternal Life by the gift of God's Grace through Faith in Jesus, the the Son of God! I ask the reader to go to the Bible, the book John, chapter 3, and read the 16th. verse.

    May 19, 2013 at 2:01 am | Reply
    • Rosali

      Wake up bud! The subject here is phisical slavery. Keep your words aboust bible and saving souls (???) for free people who can go to church. You, fanatic evangelic people, are sooo boring!

      May 29, 2013 at 10:54 am | Reply


    May 24, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
  4. George

    Human equality should be upheld.

    May 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  5. shahbaz ali

    this is the platforn,where people prove their humanity,,

    June 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  6. Segun

    Rosali i completely disagree we are not boring we are alive get in the SPIRIT of CHRIST and experience HIS PEACE LOVE JOY &FREEDOM

    June 17, 2013 at 4:35 am | Reply
  7. shirih

    Everyone has to standup n fight against tis evil call modern day slavery.i am a victim i went through alot but had to take the courage to walk out but my life is still in danger but am being hurted by my employer.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Reply
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