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  • C.N. and V. v. France

    Country: France

    Court: ECHR

    Sentence date: 11-10-2012

    Purpose of exploitation: Forced Labour

    The applicants, two sisters, are French nationals, who were born in 1978 and 1984 respectively in Burundi. They left that country following the 1993 civil war, during which their parents were killed. They arrived in France in 1994 and 1995 respectively, through the intermediary of their aunt and uncle (Mr and Mrs M.), Burundi nationals living in France. The latter had been entrusted with guardianship and custody of the applicants and their younger sisters at a family meeting in Burundi. Mr and Mrs M. lived in a detached house in Ville d'Avray with their seven children, one of whom was disabled. The applicants were accommodated in the basement of the house and alleged that they were obliged to carry out all household and domestic chores, without remuneration or any days off. C.N. claimed that she had also been required to take care of Mr and Mrs M.'s disabled son, including occasionally at night. The applicants allege that they lived in unhygienic conditions (no bathroom, makeshift toilets), were not allowed to share family meals and were subjected to daily physical and verbal harassment.

    Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment), V. alleged that she had been subjected to ill-treatment. Under Article 4 (prohibition of slavery and forced labour), the applicants submitted that they had been held in servitude and required to perform forced or compulsory labour. Lastly, relying on Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), they also claimed that no effective investigation had been carried out in response to their allegations.

    The Court held that France was to pay C.N. 30 000 euros (EUR) to cover all heads of damage.

    Full case: hudoc.echr.coe.int

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