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8 Apr 2020

Info Migrants

Coronavirus in Italy: NGOs want stay permits for migrant workers

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In Italy, the campaign "I Was a Foreigner" is calling on the government to give undocumented migrant workers stay permits. This, they say, would ensure that there are enough farmworkers to secure the harvest, without "under-the-table labor, illegal gangmastering, and exploitation." Numerous mayors and dozens of organisations that belong to the migrant rights campaign "I Was a Foreigner" in Italy are calling on Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Labour Minister Nunzia Catalfo to issue stay permits to all foreigners working in Italy. They want the government "to legalize non-EU foreign citizens already in Italy, by issuing of a stay permit on the condition of a work contract in the agriculture sector or in other sectors, starting with care services for the elderly, sick, and not self-sufficient." They said that because many foreign workers could not enter Italy amid the coronavirus pandemic, there was "an estimated need of at least 250,000 people" to harvest fruits, vegetables and the like across Italy. They said there was a risk that either the food supply would break down, or that farmers would turn to "under-the-table labor, illegal gangmastering, and exploitation."

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Workers in agricultural supply chains among groups most at risk of COVID-19 infection

Italy: Fears grow for migrant farmworkers left without work & living in poor conditions amid COVID-19 crisis