AFTER seasonal farm workers were subject to conditions branded ‘inhumane’ by the U.N., authorities have sent Spanish soldiers to build a migrant camp for the strawberry pickers.
Three fires erupted and injured four people in worker shanty towns near Huelva last week.
Additionally, health officials have warned that the extremely cramped conditions put workers at serious risk of catching coronavirus.
Olivier De Schutter, U.N. rapporteur for poverty, said Spain must improve the “deplorable conditions” quickly before somebody dies.
Troops were deployed on Saturday, July 25, after concerns were raised by Huelva officials.
Most of the workers have travelled to Spain from Morocco.
Mostly without running water, electricity or sanitation measures, the current workplace accomodation is squalid and a breeding ground for COVID-19.
While the pandemic has worsened the situation in the shanty town, living conditions for migrant fruit pickers have been this way for years.
“This reality of fires and inhumane conditions cannot be tolerated any longer,“ said De Schutter.
The Spanish defence ministry hopes that the army logistics team will be able to prevent possible coronavirus outbreaks in settlements made vulnerable by the fires.