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September 26, 2021

Government officials to pay working visit to Italy, following information on workplace abuse of Romanian women

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu requested a joint working visit to Italy, Wednesday through Friday, of representatives of the Ministry for Romanians Abroad and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, considering the information about cases of Romanian citizens’ exploitation while working in Italy’s Sicily and extreme southern Calabria.

“Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu follows with concern the situation of Romanians in Italy and is waiting with interest the report of the Government’s representatives sent on site,” announced the Government in a press release sent on Tuesday to Agerpres.

The Minister for Romanians Abroad, Andreea Pastarnac and a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will participate in the working visit. The members of the delegation will have meetings with local officials, as well as with representatives of Romanians organizations at work in Italy, and also with those in the associative environment involved in defending the rights of foreign workers and combating against their being abused, mention the Executive.

According to the source, the Minister for Romanians Abroad launched a consultation on actual topics regarding cooperation and bilateral dialogue, in a meeting with the Head of the Italian diplomatic mission in Bucharest.

British publication The Observer on Sunday carried a feature article in which it alleges that thousands of female Romanian farm workers are suffering horrendous abuse, including threats, sexual abuse in the Italian province of Ragusa, Sicily. It quotes an Italian migrant rights organisation, the Proxyma Association, as estimating that more than half of all Romanian women working in the greenhouses are forced into sexual relations with their employers. Almost all of them work in conditions of forced labour and severe exploitation.”

It also quotes local Police as saying they believe that up to 7,500 women, the majority of whom are Romanian, are living in slavery on farms across the region.

Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE), via the Romanian Embassy in Rome and the Romanian Consulate in Catania, has started inquiring with Italian authorities into press allegations of workplace abuse of Romanian women in Italy, MAE said Monday in a press statement.

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