An emblematic case took place before the Paris Court – 31st Correctional Chamber 2nd section, in three successive hearings on May 7, October 18 and November 21, 2019.
Mrs. Shalimar SHARBATLY, artist of Saudi nationality, was the subject of proceedings there at the initiative of the Public Prosecutor for trafficking in human beings (art. 225-4-1 Penal Code), concealed work, employment of foreigners without titles authorizing them to carry out a salaried activity in France; plaintiffs had also had him cited for subjecting vulnerable people to working or accommodation conditions incompatible with human dignity (art. 225-14 CP);
obtaining services that are not remunerated or provided in exchange for remuneration clearly unrelated to the importance of the work performed (art. 225-13 CP);
reduction of the easement (art. 225-14-2 CP).
After a report to the Labor Inspectorate by an employee of French nationality hired as a bodyguard, Ms SHARBATLY was placed in police custody on April 16, 2019, and her Parisian home, Quai Branly, was searched;
bail was ordered and some of his assets seized. Ms. SHARBATLY only appeared at the first hearing on May 7, preliminary;
after which, her judicial review having been partially lifted on appeal, she was able to recover her passport and leave French territory, no longer appearing before the Tribunal, to which she had medical certificates sent. On October 18, 2019, the hearing was devoted to hearing the complainants;
we especially remember that of three former employees, two women of Eritrean nationality and one of Ethiopian nationality;
having fled their country, at war, for Saudi Arabia, recruited there by Mrs. SHARBATLY, who brought them to France to take care of her service here, that of her daughter, and domestic work. These women described non-standard working hours; reported suffering from a lack of food, sleep, medical care;
constantly suffer insults and the threat of being sent back to their country;
that they were not allowed to go out, their passports being confiscated;
and that their salary was around 300 euros per month, with no days off or holidays.
Two of them finally decided to flee together on December 2, 2018. At the hearing of November 21, 2019, the Public Prosecutor requested in particular a 30-month prison sentence (without adjustment), an arrest warrant, the confiscation of sums of money seized and of shares in a civil real estate company, a fine of €2,000 per untitled employee. The lawyers for the civil parties requested damages and interest in compensation for the moral and psychological, physical, financial and economic damage.
The CCEM (Committee Against Modern Slavery) has instituted civil proceedings. The URSSAF is also concerned by this case. Judgment will be rendered on January 30, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.