s there labor and sexual exploitation of seasonal strawberry workers in Huelva? The Huelva Prosecutor’s Office will try to answer this question, which has opened an investigation into the alleged cases of workplace harassment and sexual abuse reported by several non-governmental organizations and after international media, especially Germans, have published information that points to a situation of widespread exploitation in the strawberry fields of Huelva.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Huelva has opened investigative proceedings, in particular, on three specific cases , which includes the complaint that this Thursday presented the General Directorate of Migration Policies of the Junta de Andalucía, a measure announced in the Andalusian Parliament by the own counselor of Justice, Rosa Aguilar.
Sources of the Public Ministry in Huelva confirmed to EL MUNDO that the investigation was opened on Thursday, once the complaint was received from the Autonomous Administration , which is, at least for now, the only one that has arrived at the Office of the Prosecutor provincial.
In addition to the Directorate General of Migration Policies, the Interprofessional Association of Strawberry Andalusia (Interfresa) has demanded that the alleged abuses be investigated by means of a document that has been submitted to the Government Sub- delegation in Huelva and also the Andalusian Trade Union of Workers ( SAT) has publicly denounced this situation. But, as of today, the consulted sources indicated, the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Huelva only has the formal denunciation of the Board.
In this complaint, as this newspaper has learned, there are three specific cases of seasonal workers who would have been victims of situations of labor and sexual exploitation, although the data provided -collected in turn by the Board of NGOsworking with the collective – they are not too profuse or concrete.
Therefore, they said from the Huelva Prosecutor’s Office, the first thing that has been ordered to the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard is to identify and locate the alleged victims. Especially because, they insisted, the open inquiries do not investigate a generalized situation but specific cases. A priori , these sources added, what is involved is isolated events without apparent connection.
In fact, they pointed out, it is not unusual for complaints of sexual abuse to be registered in each agricultural campaign, but in recent years there has not been an extraordinary increase or special circumstances that have set off alarm bells .
The Labor and Social Security Inspectorate will also intervene and from the Public Prosecutor’s Office will be informed of the facts denounced.
In recent years there have been repeated reports of massive cases of labor and sexual exploitation in the strawberry fields of Huelva, although until now no investigation has been opened beyond the isolated reports that were recorded. In the last months, these public denunciations have intensified, to the point that from Interfresa they denounce a discredit campaign behind which competitors from other countries would be.
In this sense, Interfresa believes that “some information is being used, not yet confirmed by judicial or police action, to favor a widespread smear campaign that has been brewing from other countries as well as producers to damage the important activity of the sector in Huelva.”
In addition, reiterates that there will be “zero tolerance” before any criminal action.
From the Junta de Andalucía, as announced by the Minister of Justice, measures have already been taken in parallel to the complaint submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office. Thus, Rosa Aguilar explained on Thursday that information campaigns will be held in order that women “know everything they can do” in these situations because it is important to have “their complicity” when acting because “we need them to them to act. ” In addition, the counselor said that they will meet with the agricultural associations and companies of the strawberry to “give the necessary response to this situation that happens and defend the productions.”