Stéphane Ravacley, 50, was briefly hospitalized as he attempted to draw attention to the plight faced by Laye Fodé Traoré, 18, who worked with him at "La Hûche à Pain" bakery in the eastern city of Besançon.
Traoré, from Guinea in West Africa, arrived in France two years ago aged 16 after making a perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea in an inflatable boat. He began working as a trainee baker with Ravacley a year later.
Ravacley, a baker for 35 years, said he went on hunger strike to highlight the "injustice" of the system.
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"Humanity does not say we protect children for this time and then suddenly stop on the day of their birthday," he said. "If you protect someone, you protect them fully."