Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Abuse of Moroccan Migrant Farm Workers in Italy

Here is short article from the Wall Street Journal about some Moroccan migrant farm workers in Italy who were being taken advantage of, but it looks like they might actually be treated like worthwhile human beings by officials in Italy. Alhamdulilah


Moroccan Migrants In Italy Found In Poor Work Environment

GENEVA (AFP)--About 1,000 Moroccan migrants have been found working and living in squalid conditions on farms in southern Italy after being lured there, the International Organisation for Migration said Tuesday.

Many of the irregular migrants traveled from Morocco after they were promised seasonal contracts and wages that never materalised, according to IOM officials.

Instead they were paid just 15 to 25 euros a day, and even had to pay a three-euro fee to gain access to the fields where they were supposed to work, and also pay for water.

"Their living and working conditions are unsafe, insalubrious and undignified," said the IOM representative in Italy, Peter Schatzer.

An IOM spokesman criticised the prevalence of illicit migrant labour in Italy.

"According to official statistics, the informal sector represents nearly 18% of GDP so we're calling on our partners, at national, local and regional level to clean things up with employers," said spokesman Jean- Philippe Chauzy.

The IOM was called in by Italian authorities, which had established a quota system for employers that need seasonal workers.

"Our team discovered that most of the migrants have fallen victim to a fraud," said Schatzer.

"They paid a fee to a rogue agent in their country of origin and to an Italian employer, who promised to give them a regular job," he said.

"Once in Italy, the migrants found that their employer had disappeared or just refused to employ them. Without a legal work permit, many fell into exploitation."

The conditions were revealed after some 200 of the Moroccans were interviewed by the Geneva-based agency. They are likely to receive local assistance, or the chance to return to Morocco, said Chauzy.

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