‘Compensate exploited asparagus planters’

15 March 2012

‘Compensate exploited asparagus planters’

SP Member of Parliament Paul Ulenbelt wants to see the fine of more than €100,000 imposed on an abusive asparagus grower from Someren in the southern Netherlands used to compensate the people whom she exploited. ‘These people were forced to work under appalling conditions,’ says Ulenbelt. ‘They were paid hardly anything, were housed in a fire-trap of an attic and in tents next to the asparagus field and by their own account were sometimes denied medicines. And for a long time the authorities did nothing. They have a right to compensation.’

Paul UlenbeltThe court in Den Bosch condemned the asparagus grower to 30 months in prison, part of it suspended. She also had to pay around €200,000 in fines. “She is guilty of trafficking in people and of exploitation, so I’m not going to shed any tears over her punishment,” says Ulenbelt. “But I think that the Polish, Romanian and Portuguese workers who were victims of her reign of terror have a right to compensation. That seems to me the least that should be done for people held as slaves in the Netherlands of the 21st Century.”

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