They are accused of forcing 52 immigrants to work for endless days without food or water at high temperatures.
The Spanish police arrested 29 people in the Andalusian provinces of Córdoba and Seville, for exploiting 52 immigrants, who were forced to work for endless days, from noon to sunset, without food or water, in the high temperatures of July and August.
The victims came to Spain because they were promised decent work and prosperous living conditions, but in a search carried out in a warehouse in Seville, the agents found 30 people crowded together in subhuman conditions, sleeping on the floor, with only one toilet and hardly any food.
Among those detained are the foremen in charge of imposing the working conditions and controlling their compliance, and the businessmen who moved the workers according to their interests.
After an exhaustive investigation, the police verified that the organisation was made up of South American citizens, who, once they recruited the workers, moved them between some of their companies located in different towns of Córdoba and Seville.
They paid the workers a very low salary, and fraudulently registered them in the national Social Security system to obtain benefits.
They are accused of alleged crimes of human trafficking for labour exploitation, falsification of documents, crimes against the Social Security, the rights of workers and the rights of foreign citizens, and of favoring clandestine immigration.
According to Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, “most cases of modern abuse and slavery are related to human trafficking, but there are also some in which the labour exploitation is bigger than the sexual”.
They recently carried out a study called the study The Typology of Modern Slavery, which finds that the places where there are more cases of human trafficking related to labour exploitation include: restaurants and food services; agriculture; construction; hospitality; landscaping; commercial cleaning services; manufacturing; health care; and recreational facilities.
Labour exploitation is a problem in many European countries. This year, the Swiss Evangelical People's Party (EVP) denounced that “labour exploitation has become, in certain sectors in Switzerland, a lucrative and tacitly accepted reality with many cases not listed”.
They presented a motion to the Federal Council, calling on to include labour exploitation as a separate criminal offense in the Penal Code, to protect migrants and other vulnerable people.
In Spain, the Christian abolitionist association A21, along with the Civil Guard (one of the biggest organisations of the Spanish law enforcement), launched an awareness campaign against forced labour human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
They aimed to “eliminate any type of forced work that comes from the perverse action of criminal organizations and groups”.
According to Loida Muñoz, director of A21 Spain, “the church worldwide is being a pioneer in human trafficking issues”.
“The biggest response to this still very unknown reality is coming from evangelical Christians”, she said in an interview with Spanish news website Protestante Digital.
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