Strawberry fields in the Spanish south western region of Huelva have witnessed an important boom during the last few years. The workforce is mainly constituted by migrant regular and irregular workers, mostly women. Their work and living conditions have been very hard, as recently remarked by the UN’s Rapporteur into Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston. The report speaks about the work- and living site as “A shantytown with far worse conditions than a refugee camp, without running water, electricity, or sanitation, where migrant workers have lived for years without any improvement in their situation”.
The situation has become even worse with the Covid-19 crisis, because of the risks connected with the pandemic, but also in relation to the coercion used to keep the labourers working even after they fall ill. Some trade unions (especially the Sindicato de Obreros del Campo) have expressed critiques on the situation and the African Workers Association has recently demanded the regularization of migrant workers.
For further information:
Statement by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, on his visit to Spain, 27 January – 7 February 2020:
400 day labourers in Huelva and Almería denounce the lack of implementation of anti-Covid19 measures:
The undocumented day labourers of Huelva demand a collective regularization of the workers in the strawberry fields: