The Romanian Government has decided upon a working visit to Italy, after an investigation conducted by ‘The Observer’ has revealed that thousands of Romanian women who work in Sicilian farms and greenhouses are victims of modern slavery. They live in miserable conditions, are forced to work 12 hours a day in extreme heat, without water and without being paid and are victims of sexual assault and rape.
The visit will take place during March 15-17 and the Romanian representatives will meet local officials, representatives of Romanians in Italy and NGOs involved in combating modern slavery, digi24.ro reports.
“Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu ordered a joint working visit to the Italian Republic of representatives of the Ministry for Romanians Abroad and the Ministry of Interior, in the context of information about cases of exploitation of Romanian citizens who work in the regions of Sicily and Calabria. Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu follows with concern the situation of Romanians in Italy and looks forward to the report of the government representatives. The mission will take place during March 15-17 and includes the Minister for Romanians Abroad, Andreea Păstîrnac, and a representative of the Interior Ministry.
The delegation members will meet local officials and representatives of the Romanians who work in Italy and those of the associations involved in defending the rights of foreign workers and fighting abuse,” a government statement reads.
Following ‘The Observer’ investigation, the representatives of the Romanian community in Italy were called to the Senate, to deliver information about their countrymen who are exploited on agricultural plantations.
According to ‘The Observer’, thousands of Romanian women working in agriculture in Ragusa Province in Italy are victims are numerous abuses, including sexual aggressions and threats.
“Hidden among fields of flapping white plastic tents across Ragusa province, 5,000 Romanian women are working as seasonal agricultural workers. Their treatment is a growing human rights scandal, being perpetrated with almost complete impunity,” the British journalists say.