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Italy compels Gambians to work under ‘unfavourable’ conditions

Sep 1, 2015, 11:02 AM | Article By: Alagie Jinkang in Italy

The majority of Gambians who work in Italy are mostly without any sort of formal contract, paid less and under unfavourable working conditions.

Many of the migrants who have entered Italy through the Mediterranean Sea are leaving for other European countries, but those who have decided to stay in the country do so to keep body and soul together.

Gambians are not definitely the only immigrants who have to survive the unfavourable working conditions; there are Romanians, Albanians, Egyptians, Moroccans, among many other nationals.

However, our correspondent in Italy said Gambians bear a major brunt due to language barrier and unskillful competency that have placed them under the enslavement and dictatorship of their employers.

“We have to live. We have no other job, so we are compelled by situations here to do what is available,” a 28-year-old Gambian youth, Musa Kanyi, said.

Many Gambians work as farmer labourers under worse conditions than that of The Gambia.  They use their labour without any modern implements to ease their work.

They climb trees to pluck fruits and spend the whole day under the sun plucking tomatoes for a sum that is too little too low.

When they are injured during the course of work, it becomes their sole problem without compensation or any other help to seek medical assistance.

A 43-year-old Gambian man said:  “I do not want to indulge into illegal activities to earn money.  I prefer suffering at the farms even under some uneasy conditions to feed my family than be involved in some vices here.  I have a family of four that I have to feed and I have to feed them with something clean.”

The man said he works for 10 hours for five euros but he still thinks his conditions is better compared to other undocumented migrants receiving three euros for six hours. 

According to the statistics department of Italy, unemployment rate in Italy rose unexpectedly to 12.70 per cent in June from 12.50 per cent in May of 2015, as unemployment grew by 1.7 per cent.

Unemployment rate in Italy averaged 9.27 per cent from 1983 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 13 per cent in November of 2014 and a record low of 5.80 per cent in April of 2007. Unemployment rate in Italy is reported by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT).