SHARE
COPY LINK

SLAVERY

Stockholm mum charged over Polish ‘slaves’

A 46-year-old mother of four has been charged with trafficking and other offences after keeping her Polish nannies and cleaner under "slave-like" conditions in her Solna home.

“Ruthless trafficking and slavery. The charge sheet also includes forced labour,” prosecutor Marie Lind Thomsen told the Metro newspaper.

The Polish women, reported to be in their early twenties, were forced to work as cleaners and nannies for up to 19 hours per day, seven days a week in return for slave wages.

The young women were housed in a cramped closet in a lavishly furnished three bedroom apartment in the Stockholm suburb of Solna.

The newspaper reports that the young women were subjected to threats of violence and were forced to steal clothing and home decor on behalf of their employer who had originally promised them a monthly wage of 10,000 kronor ($1,400).

According to the charge sheet, one of the women in fact received eight kronor a day for four months, while another received no money at all.

The investigation and charges cover treatment meted out to four Polish women tricked into coming to Sweden and employed by the woman for periods of up to four months.

The matter was brought to the attention of the police after one of the women was able to report the treatment to the Polish embassy in Stockholm.

The 46-year-old woman is reported to live on social welfare and receives some income from a partner living at another address and whom police have not been able to link to the trafficking charges.

The woman denies all charges.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

RACISM

Paris plans first statue of black woman for anti-slavery heroine

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said Saturday the French capital plans its first statue of a black woman to remember a heroine who fought against slavery on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in the early 19th century.

Paris plans first statue of black woman for anti-slavery heroine
Photo: AFP/Wikipedia

The woman, Solitude, was a key figure in the resistance movement against slavery in Guadeloupe and was executed for her role aged just 30.

Hidalgo said the new statue was planned as she opened a park in Paris named after Solitude, who she said “with her courage and commitment to justice and dignity opened the way towards a definitive abolition of slavery in France”.

“Paris is honouring Solitude, a Guadeloupean figure in the resistance against slavery by dedicating a park to her,” added Hidalgo on Twitter.

“Soon, a statue of this heroine — the very first of a black woman in Paris — will be erected there (in the park). A strong symbol to never forget her fight,” she added.

Slavery was abolished in France in 1794 but under orders from Napoleon Bonaparte troops were sent to Guadeloupe in 1802 to restore the practice there.

The move sparked an insurgency, with many black women who were former slaves rising up. Solitude was arrested and hanged on November 29, 1802, an execution that was held back so she could give birth just one day before.

She was the daughter of a black slave and a white French sailor, who according to some accounts had raped her mother.

“Solitude is the first black woman honoured for herself and for her action in a Paris public space,” Jacques Martial, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of overseas territories issues, told AFP.

“A defender of the values of the Republic, a committed woman, she fought for the freedom of all, against the reestablishment of slavery in Guadeloupe. She paid for that fight with her life”, he added.

The debate on France's colonial past has been revived by protests against racism and police brutality in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement that rocked the United States in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

Anti-racism activists in July tore down a statue of Napoleon's empress Josephine in the overseas French territory of Martinique.

There have also been calls for the removal of the statue outside France's National Assembly in Paris of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the man behind the “Code Noir” decree that defined the conditions of slavery in the French colonies.

But President Emmanuel Macron warned in June that France would not take down statues or names of controversial figures, saying it would “lucidly look at our history and our memory together.”

SHOW COMMENTS