International News

Spain: Documentary reveals plight of Moroccan migrants
Moroccan migrant workers harvesting strawberries in Spain are having to endure exploitative conditions and are forced to live in squalid accommodation, new evidence has confirmed. Each year, Spanish strawberry and berry farms recruit tens of thousands of female Moroccan workers through Morocco's national employment agency, ANAPEC. Spain announced in January this year that over 19,000 Moroccan women would travel to pick strawberries in Spain's Huelva province for the 2019 season. The first group of workers for the year sailed out from the Moroccan port of Tangier on 1 February and will return to Morocco in June.

The workers are all married women with children, a government stipulation intended to prevent visa overstays. And though demand has grown in Morocco for the seasonal labour jobs, workers have long complained of abuse and exploitative conditions on Spanish berry farms. Now footage of the conditions faced by Moroccan female workers harvesting strawberries in Spain, broadcast last week in an episode of the acclaimed Spanish news series 'Salvados', features testimony from the women themselves, describing foul, overcrowded living conditions, sexual abuse at the hands of their supervisors and long, irregular hours. Aintzane Marquez, a lawyer for the women's rights organisation WomenLink, said the conditions do not match the information companies gave workers before they accepted the seasonal jobs. She is currently representing four Moroccan women who have filed legal complaints against the farms. 
Read more: Morocco World News. Source: Risks 890

China: Massive chemical plant explosion
At least 78 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds are injured or missing in one of the worst industrial accidents in China in recent years. A massive explosion on 21 March flattened the Tianjiayi Chemical Co. pesticide plant near Yancheng in Jiangsu and caused extensive damage to neighbouring factories and the surrounding residential area.

It was revealed by local media soon after the explosion that the chemical plant had been cited for 13 safety violations in a report issued by then State Administration of Work Safety just over a year ago on 7 February 2018. These violations included: a lack of qualified personnel, insufficient safety training, lack of clear safety protocols, poor quality control, poor signage, chemical tank leakages, neglect of fire hazards, and more. 
Read more: At least 78 dead, hundreds injured in massive chemical plant explosionChinese Labour Bulletin

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