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.
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Ravacley, a baker for 35 years, said he went on hunger strike to highlight the "injustice" of the system.
"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."