Land of Milk and Honey …

The Netherlands is one of the happiest countries but do all citizens echo the same feeling? Perhaps not, there seems to be an exploited group.

Miriam Frosi a councillor from Eindhoven (CDA) hosted an event on “Human Exploitation”, where she made the strong analogy to “modern-day slavery”.The evening started off with an introduction and an update by Miriam, then followed by several presentations by various leaders. Perhaps the most interesting was the eye-opening insights by Agata Olejarczyk (Polish journalist) via Skype. She actually went “undercover” as a low-wage employee at an established supermarket chain in Eindhoven region. She shared her personal experiences, followed by several questions from the audience.

Supporting this agenda, against “human exploitation” was Ria Hilhorst (FNV), who shared other examples of poorly addressed human rights issues, especially in the Horeca and cleaning services. The FNV, the largest Union in The Netherlands, believes in supporting a “better working environment so that everyone can work in a safe and healthy way”. They openly supported the proposal to create a task-force to address this issue collectively.

Yes, Eindhoven News was there. We were invited to share our insights from our article published a year ago in Eindhoven News. The research aligned perfectly with the earlier presentations, in support of the next steps towards addressing the rights of the low wage workers!

The evening ended with the calming support from Henk de Groot and Justine Ruitenberg (ISZW). They represented the Inspectorate SZW, which is responsible for the investigation of labour exploitation practices. Whenever ISZW inspectors flag conditions of labour exploitation during their activities, these indicators are referred to the Investigations Directorate, which may choose to initiate a criminal investigation.

Yes, there is much more than what meets the legal-eye, and the question is .. what are we going to do about it? Would you like to join the task-force, to help Miriam Frosi stop this? Then, please write to “[email protected]”. Together we can make The Netherlands rank amongst the top 3 happiest countries in the world .. #everybodymatters.

For Eindhoven News: Aroop Bhattacharjee

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