La Strada International Statement on Coronavirus

La Strada International NGO Platform

The impact of COVID-19 on the protection of rights of trafficked and exploited persons

The current Corona Virus (COVID-19) crisis is affecting all our countries and societies with most European States taking restrictive measures to prevent the wide spreading of COVID-19 and mitigate the health risks for the population. While this affects everybody, the new situation has a particularly negative impact on marginalized communities, including thousands of migrants that work in Europe in low paid and exploitative jobs, supporting European countries to plug their labour shortfalls. It is especially now, in times of crisis that inequality and discrimination heighten not only the risks of abuse and severe exploitation for those who are most vulnerable but place them at further risk of being exposed to the infection thus potentially becoming even a scapegoat for public health risks.

Many of these are women, men and children in an irregular and precarious situation. They often face abuse and exploitation while trying to survive on the street, in private homes, in bars, restaurants, sweatshops, in rural fields and elsewhere at the margins of our societies. While  both women and men can be victims of severe forms of labour exploitation, women more than men tend to occupy jobs within the informal sector, which is not covered by any labour legislation or social protection.

La Strada International calls for attention to the challenging situation of trafficked persons and those vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and abuse, and for targeted measures to ensure their protection and support and prevent discrimination and unequal treatment.

Read the full statement here.