Tens of thousands of migrants are exploited every year on agricultural fields by the master gang system (caporalato). Migrants work from morning to night for a few euros, living in shantytowns without sanitary facilities. The corporals in agreement with entrepreneurs without moral scruples exploit the workers in a system that benefits the large agribusiness and distribution. This is the theme of the case study carried out by Focsiv in the Faces of Migration project that you can download here.
Despite the Italian law against caporalato, for controls and operations to protect and support workers, efforts are still insufficient. More investment should be dedicated to strengthening services and the regularization of work. Civil society, in addition to assistance, is creating alternative circuits of production and distribution, such as tomato puree, but laws should be enacted to reduce the concentration of power in the food supply chains. And the European Union should review its trade policy and strengthen cooperation to allow rural development in the countries of origin of migrants, thus reducing pressures to migrate.
There can be no sustainable development without protecting and promoting decent work (Sustainable Development Goal number 8) and transforming production and consumption patterns (Sustainable Development Goal number 12) while respecting labor rights. The European Union and its member states are called upon to do much more. The new slavery must come to an end.