The exploitation of migrant workers and their families continues.
Since 2000, 18 December has been International Migrants’ Rights Day, established to recall that ten years earlier the UN had approved the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
The Convention is the result of many years of work following a tragedy in 1972 when a lorry carrying sewing machines had an accident under the Mont Blanc tunnel in which 28 workers from Mali lost their lives.
Hiding in the lorry, they had been travelling for days to France in search of work and better living conditions. The news of the tragedy prompted the United Nations to address the conditions of migrant workers.
How can we fail to see striking similarities with the events of 23 October in Great Britain, when 39 people, including a teenager, were found dead inside a refrigerated container? Vietnamese citizens, also travelling in search of a better future for themselves and their families, young people fleeing from two poor provinces in Vietnam where foreign capital investment and GDP growth have been paid for by local workers, crushed by competition based on low wages and restricted rights.
The Convention recognises the specific vulnerable situation of migrant workers and promotes decent and legitimate working and living conditions. It also provides guidance for the development of national migration policies based on respect for human rights and proposes a number of provisions to combat abuse and exploitation of migrant workers and members of their families during the migration process.
And in Italy?
Migrants humiliated and exploited by the hypocrisies of Italy and the European Union
Caporalato in Foggia, migrants exploited in the fields by criminals:
'They treat us like slaves'.