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Exploitation of foreign workers becomes more apparent in Latvia

On 20 November 2020, it was revealed that exploitation of foreign workers has taken place in well-known pastry manufacturing enterprise, Adugs. 10 citizens of India were underpaid, overworked, physically abused and their passports seized. While both the administration of this company and local workers have denied the accusations, this case has shed light on issues of human trafficking and exploitation of workers in Latvia.

The State Labour Inspectorate has seen an increase in complaints from foreign workers in the past three years, the most common types of mistreatment being the withholding of salaries and overworking. Employers also threaten foreign workers with the annulment of their work visa if they complain to the administration or the State Labour Inspectorate.

In the last four years most migrant workers in Latvia have come from Georgia, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, most commonly working in the industries of construction, transport and logistics, and the ICT sector. Despite the increase in unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for foreign workers still remains high.

Read more about this issue here.