C. National Priorities
Business impact on human rights may touch multiple subjects (such as workers, … ) in several ways (discrimination, exploitation, pollution, etc.) and within different contexts of economic activities (agriculture, textile, finance, oil and gas and so on) …
Irregular work and agricultural sector
The ‘National Action Plan Against Trafficking in and Serious Exploitation of Human Beings’ provides for preventive measures in countries of origin where exploitation and trafficking of migrants in irregular work mostly occurred. Within this framework, a 2014 Decree has established the “Rete del Lavoro Agricolo di Qualità”: a network aimed at countering irregular work in agriculture by connecting companies compliant with specific requirements under labour, social security and fiscal law (such as the application of local and national agricultural sector work agreements). Companies compliant with the requirements under labour, social security and fiscal law may apply for joining the network, and this is rewarded with special incentives. Companies listed in the network receive special benefits, such as being included in a “white list”. This list is taken in consideration by the government enforcement agencies, which prioritize their controls over companies not belonging to the network (the rule does not apply if workers or trade unions representatives ask for intervention or in case of complaints to judicial authority or other administrative authorities). Such reward mechanisms from Public Administration incentivize promising and best practices in the field of countering irregular work in the agricultural sector.
In line with this approach, the Law n. 199 of 29.10.2016 “Disposizioni in materia di contrasto ai fenomeni del lavoro nero, dello sfruttamento del lavoro in agricoltura e di riallineamento retributivo nel settore agricolo” (provisions on countering undeclared labour, labour exploitation in agriculture and wages rebalance in agricultural sector), provides for measures aimed at improving the criminal prosecution of the phenomenon (through the crimes of illicit intermediation and work exploitation) with particular regard to illicit capital accumulation by exploiters and the provision of confiscation of the goods and properties acquired through the exploitation activity. The Law provides for victims’ compensation and the activation of a plan for the treatment of seasonal workers (in particular foreign ones) with the direct involvement and control of Regions on their conditions …
… In line with the goal of countering exploitation in the agricultural sector, the Centre of Politics and Bio economy of CREA (former INEA) within the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, and within the National Operational Project “Sicurezza per lo Sviluppo” (Safety for Development), has set up an Immigrants database with the aim of improving monitoring and control activities especially with regard to immigrants and workers recruited through racket and criminality. The tool collects data geographically (33 specific agricultural areas in about 270 municipalities for a total number of 26 productive divisions employing immigrant workers) and by monitoring seasonal work demands, consequently identifies the manpower needed over the year.
- Extend the scope and mandate of the “Rete Lavoro Agricolo di Qualità” to the food mass distribution companies and intermediaries with the aim of promoting the social responsibility of agro-food industry for workers’ exploitation;
- Promote the realization of interventions on immigrants’ rights protection in line with the project “villaggio solidale” (as developed in Puglia Region and coordinated by Coldiretti and Focsiv) that has led to the conclusion of regular employment contracts between agriculture industries and immigrants workers in the harvest seasons; …
The State-Business Nexus
… Italy has adopted the Legislative decree 19 April 2016, n.50, implementing the EU Directives, introducing a framework of a “socially responsible public procurement policy” and reputational requirements in public procurement awarding. With regard to companies directly or indirectly owned by the State, and following a joint effort with the Minister of Economy and Finance, in 2015 A.N.AC. issued guidelines on: … respect of the rights of workers involved…