IWMD 2020: agricultural workers must be protected
On April 28, we remember those who lost their lives because of their work and we campaign to protect the safety, health and lives of all working people.
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries to work in and has the highest rate of fatal accidents. Hundreds of thousands of agricultural workers die every year from acute pesticides poisoning and other employment related diseases. Millions of them work excessive hours and do not have access to safe drinking water and water for sanitation. They work in heat, in cold, in rain and sun.
Today, agricultural workers are among those classed as "essential" and required to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. But to-date this classification as "essential" and has not brought any improvements in working conditions. They continue to produce food for us all in poor conditions, risking their health and even their lives.
The IUF has developed a policy paper and a set of demands to protect the agricultural workers' lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ILO has a policy brief that includes the relevant ILO standards to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers around the world and which provide the legal framework that governments and employers should apply.
To mark April 28, the IUF occupational health and safety project has produced a special leaflet calling for better health and safety protection in agriculture with key messages "Prevent COVID-19" and "No to pesticides".
Remember the dead and fight for the living!