Tags / European border regime
The market price for oranges has fallen below the cost of production for cheap oranges used for concentrates. Most farmers only survive because of EU agricultural subsidies. Even with the subsidies, some farmers leave the oranges to rot, as it is not worth harvesting them anymore.
Finding work is not easy, even during the labor intensive winter months. With the first sunlight, hundreds of African migrant workers flock to the city centre. They wait on the side of the road and hope someone will pass by and offer them a days work. People who do not work under a gangmaster who organises them regular work are often waiting for hours, without luck. We met some people who only find work about 5 days a month. Some of the people, like on this picture wait all day long until the evening. There is nothing else to do, than to look for work.
With more and more people arriving, competition for the badly paid orange harvesting becomes intense. Desperate, people are willing to work for less and less money.
The living conditions of the African migrant workers are horrendous. During the winter months, when thousands arrive in the hope to find work, slum cities develop. The conditions in the squalid camps are similar to those in war zones one of the rare doctors who visit the slums tells us. In many of the makeshift camps there is no running water or electricity. Some of the camps are controlled by the mafia, and people are forced to pay for services they often never receive.
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The winters in Rosarno are cold and rainy. Only the ones who arrive early enough get a space in a tent or in a container. Spaces fill up quickly, and in order to get a bed, people need to arrive weeks before jobs are available.
The ones that arrive too late to receive a bed in a container or tent city, need to find another place to stay. With the low wages many people are not able to rent a room in the city and all over the outskirts of Rosarno makeshift camps develop. They have no electricity or running water.
During the winter months it rains most days. Coming home from a days work in the plantations, or standing by the side of the road hoping for a job, people have trouble to dry their clothes.
This makeshift camp on the outskirts of Rosarno lies between a motorway and an industrial area. There is no running water or electricity. The Sudanese and Chadians who live here all have refugee status. In theory, refugees in Italy are entitled to social and health care. But in practice, missing state structures and funds mean that even refugees with residence status are dependent to accept any job to survive.