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The Experience of a Victim of Domestic Servitude

2014

Mme X is a Filipino immigrant born 7 June, 1989, in Lazi Siquijor. She was recruited by an agency in the Philippines to work as a housemaid in Kuwait. She arrived in Kuwait on 16 July, 2012 upon which her passport was immediately confiscated. She works considerable hours, managing all the household tasks as well as caring for an elderly woman. She is paid around 200 euro per month.

Mme X arrives in France on 23 September, 2009, so the elderly woman can get hospital treatment. Mme X works 20 hours a day. She lives in a hotel where she must do all of the housework and prepare meals. She confides in a nurse who contacts the police and files a complaint on 24 November, 2013. The police record only the theft of her passport.

A social worker at the police station contacted the Committee Against Modern Slavery (CCEM), a member of the Collective ‘Together Against the Trafficking of Human Beings,’ on 25 November, 2013. The police found her temporary accomodation in a shelter with which the social services of the CCEM is in contact. The CCEM was informed that the complaint filed by the social worker had been classified as ‘not going to be pursued’ as the employer had left France.

The CCEM informed the Public Prosecutor of Paris that it intended to contest this decision, noting that Mme X had been the victim of trafficking and that she intended to file a complaint for these actions.

Once the victim has been heard by an inquiry and when she receives an acknowledgement of the lodging of her complaint of trafficking in human beings, the CCEM will begin the process of regularising her immigration status. At a social level, the CCEM will work to open up Social Security entitlements.

The CCEM assists at an administrative level by arranging residence permits. It also may furnish legal assistance for the criminal procedure in conjunction with a lawyer.