The European Court of Human Rights is to consider a complaint submitted by 42 Bangladeshi migrants in Greece over the country's alleged violation of human rights, the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) has said in a press release.
The migrants, who had been working on strawberry plantations in the Nea Manolada community, submitted the complaint over violation of the Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which outlaws forced labour and slavery, reports Moscow based news agency Sputnik International.
"It is the first time such a case has been filed against Greece, and the first time that the large-scale phenomenon of forced labour is to be addressed at a European level," the press release issued on Friday said.
“Four international human rights organisations and an academic institution have announced their plan to support the lawsuit. The Greek authorities are invited on January 20, 2016 to comment on the breach of obligations under Article 4,” it added.
Around 200 migrants working in the plantations, mostly from Bangladesh and Pakistan, protested against a six-month long delay in wages in 2013. Overseers responded by opening fire on the workers, injuring 28, according to police reports.
Numerous other labour and human rights violations have been reported in the area as well.
In July 2014, two of the plantation’s employees were sentenced to jail over illegal use of firearms and inflicting bodily harm, one with 14 years and seven months and the other with eight years and seven months. However, the indicted overseers were later allowed to pay monetary fines instead of serving the terms.
The GCR stressed upon the events of 2013 across Greek society and politics saying that legislative intervention and plans to curb labor abuses are necessary to prevent such incidents from happening.