The French find it hard to believe. And yet! Within their borders, people hold others in slavery by taking advantage of their misery, their fragility. Sexual and domestic slavery: associations exist, lawyers fight to support the victims and break down the impunity of people sometimes
Quand elle arrive à Paris, au mois d’août 2012, elle est contente d’avoir quitté pour quelques jours ABU DHABI et espère, à l’occasion des vacances de ses patrons, pouvoir sortir et surtout (c’est un vieux rêve) aller déjeuner à MAC DO. But her life is the same: locked up on avenue Victor Hugo to keep the apartment: cleaning, washing, ironing... In fact, nothing terrible, but it's endless: no timetables, not a minute's respite, no one to who to talk to and hide to hear from the children with them, hungry in the stomach because it is no longer possible to swallow this white rice with sardines even if the cook, when he can, gives some leftovers. You have to be available day and night like there. Last week, on a Disney outing for the kids, she overheard the driver say to the grandmother, "Look, those are the towers of Notre Dame." She must leave and go pray at Notre-Dame. One morning at 6 a.m., she descends the 4 floors of the building, taking advantage of a return in the night of one of the owners who forgot to set the alarms. She has on her €50 and all her clothes, while it is so hot! The taxi drops her off in front of Notre-Dame, but it's too early. At 8 a.m., as soon as the doors open, she enters the cathedral. Maria is a 43 year old Filipina. She has not seen her seven children for several years. She was a radio journalist but lost her job and her husband, also a plumber. She had to leave the Philippines to work in the Gulf countries. Naturally, the pay is not as promised and she will never see her passport again. The days are all the same: taking care of the children during the day, providing receptions at night. The maids do not sleep or only a few hours when Mr. and Mrs. finally go to bed and at 7 a.m. get up to drive (with a driver) the children to school. Maria is one of the victims of Modern Slavery: forced to leave her family to ensure their survival, it is her turn in the cathedral to be helped by someone. Since then, Maria has been taken care of by SOS ESCLAVES and now has a full-time job in the provinces. SOS ESCLAVES is an association composed exclusively of volunteers which helps victims of slavery to regain their dignity through declared work and authorized residence with warm support.