Italy: NGOs concerned for migrant farmworkers
NGOs and mayors in southern Italian cities of Puglia and Calabria have expressed worry about the poor living and working conditions for migrants this week. They denounced that many farmhands are working without a contract and with no protective equipment in the midst of the coronavirus emergency. Another cause for concern is that many migrant farmworkers live in illegal settlements, where hygienic and sanitary conditions are poor.
A reported 2,500 people are estimated to live in eight illegal settlements in the province of Foggia, including a shantytown in Borgo Mezzanone. About 1,000 are living in Calabria, particularly in the plane of Gioia Taura, where they are employed to pick oranges and clementines and where they live in tent camps and shacks.
"Now that we have the problem of providing enough food to supermarkets due to coronavirus, we are 'discovering' that we need these workers", said Francesco Piobbichi, an activist for migrant rights who works for the Mediterranean Hope project in Rosarno, Calabria. He called on the authorities to provide migrant farmworkers with "dignified living arrangements." ...