Agriculture is a crucial sector in the countries of the European Union (EU), contributing significantly to food production, employment, provision of food and raw material for various industries and rural development. Migrant workers play a significant role in this sector as they cover labor shortages and promote the economic sustainability of rural communities
Main challenges for migrant workers in agriculture
However, migrants face several challenges that can impact their well-being and also the efficiency of agricultural operations. Some of the key challenges that migrant workers in agriculture face are:
- Poor working conditions including long hours of work, working in adverse weather conditions and absence or insufficient protection measures.
- Lack of job security due to the seasonality of agricultural works, that prevents them from settling to one place with a secure long-term employment.
- Social isolation in many cases is faced as they have moved away alone from their families, and they have to deal with language barriers, cultural differences and limited access to social services.
- Inadequate accommodation provided by employers where the usual practice is to live together in small spaces with poor living and sanitary conditions.
- Exploitation and discrimination such as low wages, lack of access to legal services.
- Access to healthcare and education mainly due to the lack of documentation as well as they don’t know how to access the healthcare system.
These challenges necessitate the implementation of comprehensive training programs and support mechanisms for both migrant workers and farmers as well as governmental policies and control mechanisms.