Trafficking in human beings: Portrait of “Agnès” (domestic servitude)
Agnès arrived as an orphan to study in France and was forced to work long hours without pay or contract. She escaped after two years with the help of neighbours.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||I arrived in France through a lady my brother said would help me. I had lost my parents. My brother was still young and going to school, so he couldn’t take care of me. The lady’s daughter came for a holiday and the lady introduced us. She said “this is my daughter. She will take you with her. You’ll mind her children and she’ll send you to school.” I had just turned 18. All the time I was with her I minded her children but she never made good on her promise. I took care of the children, washed them, I cooked, I cleaned, everything. I never went out because I wasn’t allowed. I couldn’t talk to people, even the neighbours. She didn’t pay me. One day she said to me “Get your things together, we’re going back to Abidjan.” I didn’t want to go because she hadn’t helped me. Sending me back to Abidjan there was no one there for me. For three years I worked, kept her children and for three years she did nothing. It’s really painful. Now I feel better even though it’s hard, but I prefer this. I prefer this than to stay in such a situation.