Migrants / Christian Sinibaldi

 

Rosarno in Calabria. The town, in middle of the toe of Italy, is an agricultural community of 15,000 people.

It is one of the places where undocumented workers queue each morning for jobs on the Italian orange and olive groves, and in the juice and candied peel factories that supply northern Europe. About 5,000 of them live in the Rosarno area alone. Recently the international charity Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) became so concerned about the plight of migrants in Calabria that it sent a team to assess the situation. It found that most migrants were living in conditions that do not even meet the minimum standards set by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for refugee camps in Africa. The organisation now runs free clinics in Calabria for undocumented migrants.  

Migrant workers can only work on average three days a week. They can earn 25 euro a day, but some farmers have recently tried to cut pay to 11 euro a day as they find the price for oranges and clementines has fallen below their cost of production. Many farmers have stopped harvesting their fruit because the world price is too low to cover the costs of labour, even using cheap migrants. They are facing competition from Morocco and Spain.

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