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Spanish activists march in solidarity with Moroccan victims of sexual harassment

Moroccan women go to Spain in droves between February to July to work as Strawberry pickers
Women labourers work at a strawberry field on the country side of Kenitra province of Morocco as the world marks the International Women's Day on March 8, 2017. ( Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency )
Women labourers work at a strawberry field on the country side of Kenitra province of Morocco as the world marks the International Women's Day on March 8, 2017. ( Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency )

Dozens of human rights activists took part in a protest march on Sunday in the Spanish city of Huelva, in solidarity with Moroccan women who are victims of sexual harassment. The move followed the opening of an investigation by the Spanish judiciary after Moroccan women working in the city complained about sexual abuse. One Spanish man has been arrested.

NGOs which organised the protest posted a video on social media calling for the work of migrant workers to be monitored for such abuses. The women should be listened to constantly, they argued.

The issue has triggered controversy in Morocco. Government spokesman Mustapha El-Khalfi said that ministers are concerned about everything and anything that targets the dignity of Moroccans at home and abroad. He pointed out that parliament has called for an investigation because Morocco cannot accept anything that harms its citizens.

Read: Abused Morocco woman creates anti-harassment app

Spain issues seasonal work permits for over 10,000 workers to pick strawberries every year, based upon an agreement signed in 2001 between Morocco and Spain. Moroccan women go to Spain in groups from February to July, returning home when the strawberry season ends.

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