NIAMEY: October 27, 2008. West African judges on Monday fined the state of Niger the equivalent of 15,000 euros for failing to protect a woman sold into slavery, in a landmark ruling with implications across the region.
The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States recognised that the young woman, Adidjatou Mani Koraou, now 24, had been "a victim of slavery" and held "the Republic of Niger responsible for the inaction" of its administrative and legal services, according to a ruling read out by a court official.
Judges fined Niger 10 million CFA francs (15,000 euros, 18,600 dollars). The woman's lawyers had claimed five times that amount in damages.
The plaintiff, a Niger national, sued the government of her vast, largely arid country on the southern edge of the Sahara for failure to enforce anti-slavery laws. Agencies