Mass shooting of Strawberry pickers leads to ongoing reforms.

In the case of Chowdury and Ors. V. Greece, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the innocent workers were victims of blatant human right violations and forced labor. 


On a farm in Manolada, Greece, hundreds of Bangladeshi laborers were hired to pick strawberries. A salary of €22 had been guaranteed to them. But for months they worked toiled between 7am and 7pm every day, unpaid. 

The bosses refused to pay the workers’ salary and when they went on strike to demand it, threatened them with arrest and deportation. The employers subsequently hired fresh immigrants. 

They believed they would never receive payment. 100 to 150 workers began to confront their employers and ask for their pay. As a consequence, thirty of them were critically wounded when one of the armed guards opened fire.

The employers and two armed guards were arrested and convicted of human trafficking and ordered to pay nominal damages to each victim. 

The case was brought up to the bench of European Court of Human Rights 


The Court stated that the laborers had been subjected to forced labor and human trafficking. 

The Greek government was in breach of its duties to stop human trafficking and forced labor, to protect the victims, to carry out a thorough investigation, and to hold those involved accountable for their actions. Although there are laws to address these issues, the actual actions taken have not been enough.

Damages totaling between €12,000 and €16,000 were given to each applicant.

Furthermore, a thorough enquiry and reforms were asked to be initiated by the Greece Government in order to halt future human rights violations.



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