Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Shame on the farm in Sicily: "We are talking about potentially thousands of Romanian women as victims of serious abuse."

We visited Sicily for the first time last November, spending a week of contentment in the city of Catania on the island's eastern shore, with Mt. Etna a constant, fascinating presence.

While an active volcano poses a certain threat to human civilization, the rich volcanic soil it produces is an unqualified boon. There is a lot of growing going on.

As part of a volcano tour, we visited a vineyard and a honey vendor; moreover, much of our time in Catania was spent dining. We ate one fantastic meal after another, with an alarming weight gain mirroring time spent at the table.

In short, while we traveled nowhere near Ragusa province, Sicily's agricultural bounty was ever-present during our stay. If I'm to praise it, I'm also obliged to participate in shining a light on its dark underbelly.

Hence this article. The exploitation is sickening, and beyond the plain fact of it being inexcusable under any circumstances, that EU policies apparently promote one member nation importing members from another in this fashion is inexplicable.

Like slavery in America. We should know by now that the cost of our food supply often far exceeds the price we pay at the supermarket. Even so, the situation in Ragusa province is profoundly disturbing.

Raped, beaten, exploited: the 21st-century slavery propping up Sicilian farming, by Lorenzo Tondo and Annie Kelly (The Guardian)

Thousands of female Romanian farm workers are suffering horrendous abuse

 ... “When I came here I thought I was coming to a hard but decent job in another European country, but we ended up as slaves,” she says.

Hidden among fields of flapping white plastic tents across Ragusa province, 5,000 Romanian women like Bolos are working as seasonal agricultural workers. Their treatment is a growing human rights scandal, being perpetrated with almost complete impunity.

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