This lawsuit marks the first time that Greece is being accused of breaking Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits slavery and forced labor.
The plaintiffs’ suit stems from their time in a Manolada farm, located in the northern Peloponnese. The issue was first brought to light in April 2013 when 30 migrants working at a strawberry farm reported that they had been shot when some of them attempted to complain to their employer that they had not been paid for six months. That led to the uncovering of illegal immigrant employees working on the farm.
The Greek state is being accused of failing to prevent human trafficking as well as to punish the migrants’ employers.
A Greek court had previously cleared all the defendants of human trafficking charges in July 2014.
The Council for Refugees in Greece noted that it expects the court to take the case after January 20, 2016.