Hadijatou Mani was sold into slavery at the age of 12 and for the next 10 years she was forced to do hard labor, beaten, raped, and imprisoned for bigamy when she tried to marry a man other than her master. Yesterday an international court ruled that the government in Niger must pay Mani the equivalent of $19,500 for failing to protect her. Analysts estimate that there are 40,000 slaves in Niger and say the country hasn't done enough to enforce anti-slavery legislation. Niger's neighbors Mali, Mauritania, Chad, and Sudan are also known to turn a blind eye to slavery. “This will help free other women all over the region," said Romaa Cacchioli of the ASI. "People in Niger now know that if a slave can take the state to court and win, then they too can confidently stand up for their human rights.” [Times of London]
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