The Covid-19 pandemic revealed uncomfortable realities of the societies we live in. The global sanitary crisis was a magnifying glass for a number of human rights issues, one of this being the poor labour and living conditions of cross-border and seasonal workers.
More than one third of the European Union budget is allocated for subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy. This important EU policy does not even mention the labour rights of farm workers and regrettably none of the nine clear objectives for the reform of this EU policy makes reference to those bringing food to our plates.
In a Europe where the cheap food on the supermarket’s shelves is taken for granted, the cross-border and seasonal workers are often underpaid, exploited and their health is seriously put at risk. During the sanitary crisis, in a cynical way, the cross-border and seasonal workers have been proclaimed essential workers because their absence could trigger a serious food crisis.
The Parliamentary Assembly should examine the critical situation of the cross-border and seasonal workers in Europe, especially during the pandemic, with a view to recommending proposals to relevant authorities meant to improve their working conditions and to ensure a non-hindered and non-discriminatory access to the labour market.