An anti-gangmastering help desk operator at work | Source: Migrant Integration website via ANSA
An anti-gangmastering help desk operator at work | Source: Migrant Integration website via ANSA

The first "anti-gangmastering" help desk was presented in Italy, aimed at citizens of third countries who are victims or potential victims of labor exploitation in the country. The help desk will provide legal, trade union and administrative support.

The first inter-institutional anti-gangmastering help desk, to provide information and access to services in Italy, was presented on June 23.

The Italian government's Migrant Integration website said the help desk is for citizens of third countries who are victims of labor exploitation or potential victims.

It includes cultural mediators and operators who provide information about access to legal, labor lawyer, trade union, and administrative support.

The help desk offers assistance in multiple languages: English, French, Arabic, Pidgin, Edo/Bini, Wolof, Mandinka, Fula, Pular, plus others upon request.

'A service by all and for all'

The service came about as part of the expansion of a series of initiatives from the project P.I.U. Su.Pr.Eme. (Individualised Ways Out of Exploitation), which was a complementary project of Su.Pr.Eme. Italia.

Both operate in areas with the highest number of foreign seasonal workers in the farm sector and in urban areas of five regions in southern Italy: Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily. They are part of the three-year plan to fight gangmastering and labour exploitation in farming.

Tatiana Esposito, general director of the Italian labour ministry's department of migration and integration policies, said the three-year plan that the help desk came from is the "first national strategy, which came from a truly united effort, to prevent and end exploitation and protect and help victims."

"Actions always come through people's own efforts, and now the success of the help desk depends on everyone's participation," she said. "It is a service by all and for all."

Antonio Scavone, migration commission coordinator for the Conference of Regions and the Region of Sicily's Councillor for Families, Social Policies and Labour, said the regions of the south came together as a network.

"This service, thanks to the great professionalism of mediators and workers, functions on various levels: in prevention, oversight, and protection," Scavone said.

"In addition, it is an extraordinary educational opportunity as well for employers," he said.

Contact information for the help desk

The service can be accessed through multiple channels and includes a dedicated phone line with a toll-free number, as well as a Whatsapp number, a multi-lingual website with a contact form, a mobile app, and a presence on the major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) integrated on a web platform.

The operating headquarters is located in a space made available by Puglia Development, a finance company of the Region of Puglia. The help desk is active Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 6 pm, with the saving and management of messages reached outside operating hours.

How to contact the help desk:

 

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