At least 10,000 migrant agricultural workers in Italy live in “informal settlements” where they are disenfranchised and exploited, according to a new report from the National Association of Italian Ministries (ANCI).
The report says that many of these settlements have been in existence for many years and lack basic services.
The report was drawn up as part of a three-year plan to combat the exploitation of workers and banditry in Italy’s agri-food sector and is based on a “census” of localities conducted between October 2021 and January 2022.
Its authors described the report as an “unprecedented” investigation in which half of Italy’s municipalities completed a questionnaire.
According to them, 38 local authorities reported a total of 150 informal or informal settlements. They existed in many forms, including in shanty towns made up of huts, tents, and caravans, and in occupied or squatted buildings.
“This report is not just a map of how migrants live and work in our fields, but more broadly illustrates how we recognize or deny the dignity of these lives and those who work in our territories today,” wrote the Italian Minister of Labor and Social Andrea’s politics. Orlando and ANCI President Antonio Decaro in the preface to the report.
“For far too long, we have been carrying the weight of places that deny our founding principles and the respect due to every individual,” they added.
“We etymologically tolerated them. We can and do not want to support this weight anymore. Let’s give “home” and “work” back the meaning they should have everywhere.”
Italy is considered one of the points of entry for many asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Europe due to its strategic and central position in the Mediterranean.
As of 2021, there are about 5.1 million immigrants living in the country, which makes up 8.7 percent of the country’s population.