The Cargo Women of Melilla

Embedded in the Moroccan coast, the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla represent Europe’s southernmost border. There is no formal customs agreement between these two autonomous cities and Morocco, giving rise to a system where goods are smuggled across the border as personal luggage to avoid customs charges and taxes.

The burden of this work falls on the “cargo women”, who carry huge bales of goods back and forth over the border. These women – without contracts, social security or healthcare – suffer abuse and harassment at the hands of the border police. The “cargo women” earn a pittance while the cities earn over €400 million in taxes from their labour. Borders open and close depending on the needs of capital.

A film by Gosia Juszczak

In association with Caravana Abriendo Fronteras

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