After several road accidents involving migrant farmworkers, street lights in the plain of Gioia Tauro, southern Italy, are being repaired. The Italian interior ministry says it is working with local authorities on improving public transport in the area and providing migrants with items such as safety vests.
The Italian interior ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, January 13, that work is being completed in the plain of Gioia Tauro, in Calabria, to repair street lights. The roads were reportedly also cleaned.
The prefecture of Reggio Calabria held several meetings recently to address road safety, after migrants were injured and even killed in several accidents recently.
Migrant killed in hit-and-run
In one case, a young Senegalese migrant, Gassama Gora, died on December 18 in a hit-and-run accident. He was run down by a car on the road Colomono as he was cycling back home to a local makeshift tent camp after work.
Earlier this month, a Malian farmworker was hospitalized after he was hit by a vehicle, walking home from work.
On Wednesday, the interior ministry also said that it is cooperating with local authorities and unions to give migrant workers items to ensure their safety, such as bicycle lights and high visibility vests. They also said that they are working on improving the local transportation system.
Last week local authorities implemented more controls in the area of the accidents.
Exploitation, high coronavirus risk
Migrant rights groups have long criticized the situation for migrants working in agriculture in southern Italy -- and a safe way home from work is not the only thing that concerns them.
Migrants and migrant advocates have frequently called on authorities to do more to prevent labor exploitation. Many live in makeshift camps and shantytowns, often in close quarters and without sufficient access to running water, which puts them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.