For a long time the national legal system has fought the so-called illegal hiring and labour exploitation without the definition of ad hoc crime figures and within a sanctioning framework of a punitive nature. Only with Law no. 199/2016, Italy has adopted adequate legislation on the subject. The aspect of preventing the criminal phenomenon, however, has been neglected.
The recent three-year plan to combat labour exploitation in agriculture and illegal hiring adopted by the Ministry of Labour seems to finally bridge that gap. The current health emergency requires immediate solutions for the protection of many foreign laborers.
Approved with a supply of 88 million euros, the three-year plan is divided into four strategic directions:
b) supervision and contrast to the phenomenon;
c) protection and assistance of victims;
d) their reintegration in the society and in the workforce.
Ten priority actions are identified to be taken for each of those components. The focus on prevention of the criminal component clearly emerges from them.
Fighting labour exploitation and illegal hiring does not only mean punishing the executioners and protecting the victims of these hateful crimes, but also intervening on those who benefit from them by creating valid alternatives to the illegal supply channels of agricultural labour.