The US-based online media company Buzzfeed investigated how women farmers are treated in southern Spain. Journalists from Buzzfeed heard the stories of several women about their alleged sexual harassment.
The Ministry of Employment then opened an investigation. In a statement published by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), the ministry said that a Moroccan-Spanish delegation carried out a visit on May 10-11 in the province of Huelva, Spain to inquire about the conditions of women farmers on Spanish farms.
The Moroccan delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Employment, the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC) and the General Consulate of Morocco in Seville. The delegation also included representatives of the Spanish Ministry of Employment.
The delegation visited three strawberry companies and learned that “no specific case of abuse or violation against Moroccan workers was found.” The statement added that the companies have not received any complaints. Spanish authorities also confirmed that they have not received complaints from any Moroccan seasonal farmers.
The Ministry also explained that the working conditions of Moroccan women workers is in conformity to the employment contract concluded between the two parties. The workers received work permits from Spanish authorities to pick strawberries between April and June.
The seasonal migrant workers will return to Morocco after the berries are picked. The preselection for the work permits took place from January to February. According to the government, priority was given to seasonal workers who have experience in the field, who are married, and who are committed to returning to Morocco after the season ends.
German investigative journalism NGO Correctiv published an investigation on May 2 in collaboration with RT Nachtjournal and Buzzfeed News on Moroccan women farmers in Spain and in Morocco’s Souss Massa region in the south.
In the report, women claimed that they were harassed, insulted, and raped in the field.