The Humanitarian Government of Migrant Workforce: The Role of the Italian Red Cross in the Agricultural District of Venosa

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
WMB - Gannochy Seminar Room 3 (University of Glasgow)
Carlo Caprioglio , Faculty of Law, University of Roma Tre
Over the last few years, several scholars have highlighted the increasing role played by humanitarian non-state actors in EU border policies. While international literature tends to focus on humanitarian intervention either along the official EU borders or at externalized borders outside EU territory, this presentation will draw attention to the “domestic dimension” of humanitarian action, focusing on an internalized EU border. In particular, the paper seeks to advance critical scholarship on the role played by humanitarian actors in the management of migrant workforce. As a case study, the presentation will focus on the involvement of the Italian Red Cross in the agricultural district of Venosa, in Southern Italy. Indeed, since 2014, the Italian Red Cross runs a center for third-country seasonal workers employed in the tomato harvest of this area. Based on fieldwork carried out in the area of Venosa in August 2016, the presentation will underline how the case of Venosa can be understood as a field test of the direct involvement of humanitarian non-state actors in the management of migrant workforce and - through the examination of the operation of the center - it will underline the intense disciplinary dimension of the site.
In conclusion, on the basis of the understanding of the ways in which the “humanitarian apparatus” is getting increasingly involved in the governance of migrant workforce, the presentation will seek to advance the hypothesis that this process reveals the emergence of a specific form of “humanitarian inclusion” in the European economic and social order.