In Cyprus, all the services involved need to cooperate more effectively to tackle the phenomenon of seasonal farm workers quitting their jobs to claim asylum. Yiannakis Gavriel said this is the third time since he has chaired the committee that issues facing farmer-employers when it comes to finding seasonal workers are discussed, with the four ministries involved in the process offering no input or suggestions on how to solve the problem.
“The issue is that foreign workers, who come to Cyprus on seasonal contracts to work on farms, abandon their jobs to then apply for asylum and work illegally,” he said. Gavriel added that the committee has offered “four clear recommendations, but it looks like the four relevant ministries cannot collaborate to find a solution.”
The suggestions include the fast-tracking of asylum applications, increasing penalties for those who employ illegal workers, and increasing police checks.
“We have called on the executive to consider the suggestions of farmers’ unions, but also the House agriculture committee so that the issue will be tackled swiftly.”