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Sexually Assaulted Moroccan Field Workers in Huelva Shamed by Their Families

Written by FDM

In April 2018, an investigation by BuzzFeed News alerted about cases of sexual assault on Moroccan women workers in Huelva, Spain. Shortly after, some women filed lawsuits against their employer. Among these women, Amina and Aïcha met the Spanish newspaper El País to divulge the price they had to pay to denounce these attacks.

Since the news about alleged sexual assaults by farm employers on Moroccan seasonal workers broke, a solidarity march has been organized in Huelva and the Moroccan Ministry of Employment and Professional Integration has denied the facts. Today the women who have filed a complaint are still waiting for the court’s decision.

According to the Spanish newspaper El País who met Amina and Aïcha, it was not easy for the women to come out. “The videos of their rebellion on the farm ran through social networks and their families recognized them. And they repudiated them,” reports the Spanish daily. It’s double jeopardy. In addition to the painful memory of sexual abuse, Amina and the others have to face the shame of their family. The Moroccan woman said her son abnegate her. She also claims that her brother threatened her to death. “In a recent video call, her brother was very clear: ‘If you come back, you’re dead’, and made the gesture of killing her,” reports El País. “My family does not believe me. They think I’m a prostitute, “said Amina “in tears.”

Aïcha’s husband, who arrived pregnant in Huelva, thinks it’s her fault that she was abused. “My husband will have a divorce and take my children away. My parents will not take care of me. In Morocco, when a woman is divorced, her parents reject her, “she said.

According to their testimonies, nothing was going according to plan at work. Neither the hours nor salary. “After spending Ramadan fasting during the day, they looked for food in the garbage cans at dusk. Their boss, they say, was always prowling. He offered money to some. But in exchange for sex,” describes the newspaper.

‘A man came and offered to buy me food in exchange for accompanying him,’ recalls Amina, who reluctantly admits that she had no choice but to accept the bag of food on three separate occasions”, continues El País.

Today, the 10 Moroccan women are hiding and rejected because they filed a complaint against this farm of Almonte. They would like to change their name and, above all, for justice to be served, and finally be recognized as the real victims.

This year, 19,000 positions have opened to Moroccan women workers in Huelva. The Spanish and Moroccan governments are committed to taking a series of measures to improve their working conditions.