World Food Day: weeding out forced labor from our food ( Freedom United, 0ct. 18/020)

On World Food Day, the Freedom United community is calling on the Italian government to protect all workers in Italy’s food and agricultural sector from forced labor by signing and ratifying Protocol to ILO Convention 29. The practice of caporalato, by which fraudulent brokers exploit poor, generally foreign agricultural workers through wage theft and other forms of forced labor, remains prevalent in Italy, and the existing anti-caporalato law does not provide adequate protection against it. Experts believe that caporalato has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the fact thatCovid-19 has demonstrated how agricultural workers, particularly migrant workers, are fundamental to feeding the world. In Italy, between 450,000 to 500,000 migrants are working in the agricultural sector, representing about half of its total workforce. Despite such a reliance on migrant labor for harvesting food that is exported all over the world, labor exploitation seems to be ‘the way of production’ in Italy,and in the last six years, 1500 agricultural workers have died as a result of their work.