Monday, February 07, 2011

Spain's salad growers are modern-day slaves, say charities

From The Guardian:

The Costa del Sol is famous for its tourists and beaches but just behind them is a hidden world of industrial greenhouses where African migrants work in extreme conditions

Charities working with illegal workers during this year's harvest claim the abuses meet the UN's official definition of modern-day slavery, with some workers having their pay withheld for complaining. Conditions appear to have deteriorated further as the collapse of the Spanish property boom has driven thousands of migrants from construction to horticulture to look for work.

The Guardian's findings include:

• Migrant workers from Africa living in shacks made of old boxes and plastic sheeting, without sanitation or access to drinking water.

• Wages that are routinely less than half the legal minimum wage.

• Workers without papers being told they will be reported to the police if they complain.

• Allegations of segregation enforced by police harassment when African workers stray outside the hothouse areas into tourist areas.

You can read more about Spain's trafficking law on the US TIP Report.

1 comment:

  1. Once a beautiful coast, the southern Costa Blanca, centred on Torrevieja, now resembles a concrete estate. Inland, it's a minefield of illegal projects. If it's not cheap, it's not good value; and if it is cheap, then it's just cheap. Prices for flats have stayed the same, but villas that sold for 130,000 pounds in 2005 are asking 116,000 pounds.