Exploitation of foreign workers, the UN asks Italy for decisive action

Exploitation of foreign workers, the UN asks Italy for decisive action
Exploitation of foreign workers, the UN asks Italy for decisive action

The United Nations they beat Italy on the exploitation of foreign workers. The call for the Government and companies came at the end of a 10-day official visit by the experts of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights in the Regions of Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Lombardy and Tuscany, which highlighted the persistence of migrants serious abuses, inhumane living and working conditions, health and safety problems for thousands of migrant workers. A very serious situation that continues to plague sectors such as agriculture and logistics, despite the commitment of the institutions to combat the phenomenon of illegal hiring, as evidenced by the recent case of two Lombard cooperatives, former suppliers of logistics services to a large fruit and vegetable group , who declares himself unrelated to the disputed facts.

Migrant workers, including those from African and Asian countries, working in sectors such as agriculture, clothing and logistics, are trapped in a vicious cycle of exploitation, debt slavery and human rights abuses that must be broken, – declared Surya Deva, president of the Working Group. – This aspect requires decisive action by the government and businesses to ensure decent working conditions for all workers.

The United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights has asked Italy for incisive action against the exploitation of foreign workers

According to the experts of the United Nations, the government, companies and trade unions should work together to end the exploitation of cheap labor, improve conditions for foreign workers and ensure that no one, including producers and distributors, gains an economic advantage from this system. But the actions taken so far by Italian institutions, such as those praiseworthy for the fight against illegal hiring or the unsuccessful initiatives for the regularization of migrant workers, are by no means sufficient to stop the abuses.

The Working Group he also visited some communities of migrant workers, such as those of Avellino, Taranto and Val d’Agri, who spoke with experts on living and working conditions. “Their concerns must be taken seriously, – says Deva. – Concerted efforts need to be made to instill confidence, independently monitor emissions and health effects and provide effective solutions. Such solutions must be forward-looking and contribute to global efforts towards achieving decarbonisation and the transition to a green economy. “

According to UN experts, the measures taken so far are not enough to put an end to human rights violations in sectors such as agriculture and logistics

Particularly, Italy is required to improve the application of existing laws, the monitoring of companies and the access to effective remedies to report cases of human and labor rights abuses. On the other hand, companies operating in our country are asked to accurately verify the impact of their activities and their supply chains on rights.

As an economy highly developed of the European Union, Italy should create as soon as possible a strong and independent national human rights institution, vested with an explicit mandate that allows it to intervene on issues relating to human rights abuses related to the activities of companies . It should also enact a law on mandatory due diligence with respect to human rights and the environment, – says Deva, who concludes – This is a precious opportunity for the Italian government to demonstrate its leadership by translating its commitments into practice, especially for the most vulnerable and for the environment.

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