Slavery is rampant on Portuguese farms, and the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the problem, RTP reports.
In the course of the investigation into the human trafficking case, the Portuguese police arrived with a check on a farm in the province of Alentejo and found there more than fifty illegal immigrants living in inhuman conditions. The workers were temporarily housed at the ZMar Hotel. The hostess of the tourist complex says:
“We support these people, but we did not expect such a development of events, we need to negotiate, these people need to be transported to a place that is under the government’s administration. In Portugal, agriculture is supported by foreigners from India, Nepal, Bangladesh. Working in the field is very difficult, but their wages are very low. “
The Migration Agency notes that about 10,000 legal workers, mostly from Nepal and India, were registered last year in Odemir, a village in the province of Alentejo. However, many work illegally – they are brought in on a tourist visa, their documents are taken away and forced to work in inhuman conditions. One of the migrants says:
“I am unhappy here, the laws are not enforced, there is no other job, it is very difficult to live in Portugal, but I have to stay in order to get a residence permit.”
In the last few months alone, the Portuguese police have accumulated dozens of complaints from people who were left without documents taken from them by their employers.