A Chinese company in Prato where foreign workers were illegally employed | Photo: ANSA/COMUNE DI PRATO
A Chinese company in Prato where foreign workers were illegally employed | Photo: ANSA/COMUNE DI PRATO

Three Bangladeshi nationals have received a stay permit for social protection in Italy after being exploited at work in the area of Prato, in Tuscany.

The immigration office in Prato, Italy, on May 21 released stay permits for social protection for three Bangladeshi citizens who were "victims of job exploitation."

The procedure follows an investigation by police and prosecutors in the Tuscan city that led to the arrest of three Chinese citizens in February.

The probe allowed investigators to collect "serious evidence" against a "formal" employee and two "concealed entrepreneurs," police sources said. The suspects are believed to be responsible for the "constant work exploitation of some 30 foreigners," including Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals and one Chinese citizen employed by a clothing company in Prato.

Conditions of exploitation

Investigative sources said the probe revealed that approximately half of the workers were employed illegally and all of them worked up to 14 hours a day, without social security and weekly rest.

They worked in rooms "without the minimum condition of security and hygiene" and were "subjected to remote surveillance practices."

Moreover, they were forced to eat in the same area where they worked and to "rest in adjacent dorm rooms in poor hygienic and overcrowded conditions," the sources said.

Six-month extendable permit

Specific initiatives in favor of the victims were taken last week "by the judicial administrator of the textile company, appointed by the preliminary investigations judge (GIP), to regularize, where possible, the social security and pensions position" of the workers, the sources said.

Moreover, "as part of the institutional collaboration between prosecutors and social and immigration services of the municipality, those who expressed interest were enrolled in hosting and integration projects."

Police sources concluded saying that, "given the existence of the legal grounds, the foreigners requested and obtained a stay permit for social protection" of six months, which is extendable. A similar practice is ongoing for another Bangladeshi citizen.


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