NGOs rise up for the rights of Moroccan agricultural seasonal workers

The Euro-Mediterranean Rights Organisation, in collaboration with the Belgian NGO “CNCD-11.11.11”, has launched a campaign on the need to respect the fundamental rights of migrant workers. It mainly concerns Moroccan workers in the Spanish fields and particularly the pickers and pickers of red fruits.

This campaign is the result of a reconnaissance mission carried out by these two NGOs in the city and province of Huelva, Andalusia, where nearly 100,000 seasonal workers and agricultural workers rush each year to pick red fruits which are sold at of gold in the european supermarkets “.

In their report, the two institutions refer to ” the lack of transparency of contracts, the exploitation of wages and the unworthy living conditions » and specify that « these migrant seasonal workers gather in temporary camps, without access to drinking water or healthcare, and often remain at the mercy of unscrupulous employers”.

In Huelva, says the Belgian NGO’s report, nearly 100,000 seasonal migrants flock each year to pick red fruits, including strawberries, to garnish German, French and Belgian plates. Without them, sales of this ” red gold dedicated to export would probably not be what they are. And yet, these women and men pay dearly for their entry ticket to the old continent.

Coming mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb or Latin America, these workers struggle to see their fundamental rights respected. In a sector plagued by ever more violent climatic hazards and the demands of international markets, these people are confined to the role of adjustment variable without any consideration for their rights.

Women, mostly Moroccan, (12,000 arrivals since January 2022) who, each year, harvest under seasonal contracts negotiated between Spain and Morocco, come to harvest with seasonal contracts. Although these contracts are legal, they are subject to violation.

The two organizations indicated that “ this system of exploitation from another era requires a global reconsideration, not only in Huelva, but throughout Europe, where many rights are violated, and where labor shortages and the use of labor -of foreign works raise fears that such abuses will worsen “.

The report also points out that the European Union must seize this opportunity to adopt as quickly as possible a European law on the duty of vigilance (similar to the law requested by the Belgian NGO CNCD 11-11-11)in order to oblige companies that recruit to ensure that no violation of human rights occurs.

Elected officials must also work to find lasting solutions, such as the legal channels mentioned by the European Commission on April 27 “, is it further noted.

Interesting as this path is, it must nevertheless be subject to safeguards ” emphasizes the report which specifies, “ that an increase in legal immigration must in no case be the subject of bargaining, nor be conditioned on increased returns or on the strengthening of border controls”.

It should be noted that thousands of Moroccan women travel to Spain during the berry harvest season, from the start of the circular migration program between the two countries.

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