By Andrew Shi
Critical to many agrarian communities, the influx of migrant workers have become the backbone of many European states, and a foundation to the spring harvest. These individuals, however, are now finding themselves between the difficult choice of either returning home without work or staying and facing dangerous conditions.
On of the strongest EU economies, Germany has found itself in this position. For decades, Germany has invited individuals from across Europe into its agrarian countryside during harvest. With its aging population, there are significantly fewer young workers who are willing to opt into backbreaking labor in agriculture. To meet these labor demands, an expected 260,000 people need to relocate to Germany.
For every laborer who has relocated for the spring harvest, they are now forced to chose between the safety and health of themselves and their family, in comparison to the economic needs that the farms provide. Often coming from less economically prosperous states, and in such uncertain times, many workers find themselves forced to chose to work despite inadequate labor and safety conditions. As the reopening of the economy continues, policies that would protect migrant workers are highly needed to protect the most vulnerable individuals.
Source: Reuters, The New York Times
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