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The Emergency Management of Migration and Agricultural Workforce during the Pandemic

The Contradictory Outcomes of the 2020 Amnesty Law

Emanuela Dal Zotto    Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italia    

Martina Lo Cascio    Università degli Studi di Parma, Italia    

Valeria Piro    Università di Padova    



The chapter aims to illustrate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, of the of amnesty law passed by the Italian government in May 2020 for migrants working in agriculture, highlighting the continuity of the latter measure with the previous policies regulating migration and agricultural labour. For decades, these policies have managed both international migrations and domestic mobility of the seasonal labour force through an emergency approach. The chapter resorts on data collected through statistics, interviews and participant observation inside informal settlements in the South of Italy. In conclusion, we argue that the health emergency accelerates the resort to administrative and bureaucratic emergency practices in the management of migrations, thus contributing to the reproduction of an emergency frame, that relegates labourers to the role of ‘victims of exploitation’, and at the same time regulates their possibility of movement and their employment opportunities.

keywords: Amnesty. Emergency. Migrant farmworkers. Agriculture. Reception system. Informal settlements.

Language: en

Submitted: July 15, 2021   Accepted: July 30, 2021   Published: Oct. 27, 2021  
permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/978-88-6969-532-2/014

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License