Crime and Court news / Foreign relations

Young Italian immigrants “exploited and harassed” in Australia

It is called working holiday visa, it is regulated by a treaty between Italy and Australia and it is one of the easiest ways to enter Australia, a country where immigration is very tightly regulated.

Too easy? Yes, apparently. The Australian TV show “Four Corners” reported that young Italians employed in the Australian farms are ruthless exploited and even abused, with some girls being subject to forced sexual encounters.

The young immigrants will seldom protest or appeal to the Italian or Australian Authorities, since they need the signature of their Australian employer to have their visa extended.

The Australian Department of Immigration stated in a press release that “the majority of employers behaved correctly” but any abuse, even if isolated, is “unacceptable”.

For Italy, stories like this are a reminder of the condition of the country before the economic boom of the Sixties, when scores of Italians emigrated out of necessity to Northern Europe or the Americas. The treatment they received was not always benevolent.

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