Labor conditions in the strawberry fields of Andalusia, Spain are harsh for all workers regardless of their nationality: Salaries below the minimum wage, unpaid overtime, long working hours without breaks, and exposure to dangerous agrochemicals without protection are among the issues experienced by workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased these workers’ vulnerability to labor exploitation and creates even greater, possibly lethal, health risks.
Report of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children | New Resource Maps Supply Chains for Pandemic-Fighting Products | ITUC’s Global Rights Index for 2020 Has Been Released
While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in large-scale lockdowns, many workers are still required to report to work in crowded workplaces with a lack of adequate protections against the virus.
Verité has identified a number of factors that increase workers’ vulnerability to becoming victims of human trafficking, all of which will likely worsen during and after the COVID-19 crisis, including poverty, inequality, political instability, conflict, crime/violence, and tightening of restrictions on immigration.