General information and situation on trafficking in human beings
The Department for equal opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, by virtue of the Legislative Decree of 4 March 2014, no. 24, which implements directive 2011/36/EU on the prevention and repression of trafficking in human beings and the protection of victims, is called to play a central role in national policies in this sector, with particular reference to guidance activities and coordination of interventions for social prevention of the phenomenon and assistance to victims, as well as planning of financial resources for assistance and social integration interventions for the victims themselves.
The action of the Administration is therefore aimed both at promoting integrated and effective national policies, and at ensuring adequate protection for victims throughout the national territory through a program managed with its own resources aimed by law.
Furthermore, in 2010 Italy ratified the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Beings (Warsaw Convention) and the Department for Equal Opportunities acts as a contact point for monitoring the implementation of the Convention.
The Department for Equal Opportunities is responsible for the SIRIT data collection system (computerized system for the collection of information on trafficking) managed and maintained within the framework of the Anti-Trafficking Toll Convention by the Veneto Region. The SIRIT system is fed by the institutions that own/implement the assistance and social protection projects for victims of trafficking and exploitation financed by the Department. It takes into consideration the whole wide range of actions envisaged by the projects, from contacting victims to evaluating, from taking charge of people to social inclusion to verifying the results achieved.
Currently, human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is decreasing, while labor exploitation records a strong growth.
It is possible to explain this significant increase in reports concerning serious labor exploitation with the ever-increasing attention of the bodies and agencies that fight illegal employment and serious labor exploitation, including the labor inspectorate, trade unions and local authorities. This commitment is particularly profuse in the agricultural and manufacturing sector, as prescribed by the National Action Plan against illegal employment and labor exploitation in agriculture. Reports relating to cases of exploitation in the context of forced begging and domestic servitude and forced criminal economies are few.
Institutional, legal and political framework to address trafficking in human beings
In the current internal legal system, trafficking in human beings is expressly punished by the entry into force of law of 11 August 2003, no. 228 with which the articles of the Criminal Code already relating to the reduction into slavery were updated (articles 600,601,602). The circumstances which lead to an increase in the penalties in the event of the commission of these crimes were then modified by law of 2 July 2010, no. 108 which inserted the art. 602-bis. law 2003/228 already provided for the establishment of a Fund for anti-trafficking measures (art.12) and a special assistance program for victims of trafficking (art.13).
The law 2010/108 the Italian Parliament ratified the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on the fight against trafficking in human beings, commonly known as the Warsaw Convention.
The definitions of conduct punishable as trafficking were then broadened first with law of 16 March 2006, no. 146 containing "Ratification and execution of the United Nations Convention and Protocols against transnational organized crime, adopted by the General Assembly on November 15, 2000 and May 31, 2001" and subsequently with the adoption of the Legislative Decree 24/2014 which implemented in the Italian legal system the directive 2011/36/EU concerning the prevention and repression of trafficking in human beings and the protection of victims.
The UN Convention against transnational organized crime and the so-called Palermo Protocol on the prevention, suppression and prosecution of trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, specifically provide a new and broader definition of the crime of trafficking in human beings.
Other important measures were introduced with the Legislative Decree 24/2014: from the seizure to the confiscation of instruments and proceeds of the crime of trafficking (art.7) to the possibility of granting international protection to the victims (art.11, par. 6). Particular attention is paid to minors (articles 13-16) and the decree also follows, the Presidential Decree no. 234 of 10 November 2016, or the Regulation establishing the mechanisms for determining the age of unaccompanied minors who are victims of trafficking.
The possibility of granting international protection has found legal foundation in the articles 18 and 18-bis of the Legislative Decree of 25 July 1998, no. 286.
The Legislative Decree 24/2014 establishes, among other things, the obligations of training courses for public officials (art.5) and the right to compensation for victims of trafficking (art.6), and provides for the adoption of a National Action Plan against trafficking and the serious exploitation of human beings (art.9).
Finally, two further laws that strengthen the protection of victims of trafficking are law of 29 October 2016, no. 199 on the crime of illegal employment and law of 7 April 2017, no. 47 on unaccompanied foreign minors.
Therefore, the Italian legislation for combating the phenomenon of trafficking appears to be one of the most advanced, in particular among the States that have ratified the aforementioned Additional Protocol against trafficking in persons of the United Nations Convention against transnational organized crime.
Implementation of anti-trafficking policies
Currently, the action of the Department mainly takes place in three areas of activity, described below.
Coordination of the National Strategy
The Legislative Decree 24/2014, amending law 2003/228 containing "Measures against trafficking in human beings", introduced the National Action Plan against trafficking and serious exploitation into the Italian legal system, with the aim of reaching the definition of multi-year intervention strategies for the prevention and contrast the phenomenon of trafficking and the serious exploitation of human beings, as well as the implementation of actions aimed at raising awareness, social prevention, the emergence and social integration of the victims.
The first National Anti-Trafficking Action Plan was adopted on 26 February 2016 (NAP 2016-2018).
The Department, in compliance with the guidelines of the Political Authority, carried out the technical investigation useful for the development of the new Plan and provided the necessary support for the re-establishment of the governance bodies responsible for its approval. In continuity with the provisions of the previous Plan, it was decided to set up a national control room, with political guidance functions, supported by a technical committee extended to include representatives of sector associations. The Steering Committee, chaired by the Political Authority, shared the text of the new National Action Plan against trafficking and severe exploitation for the three-year period 2022-2025, drawn up within the Technical Committee. On 19 October 2022 it was formally adopted by resolution of the Council of Ministers.
Management of the single program of emergence, assistance and social integration
The art. 8 of the Legislative Decree 24/2014 established the Single Program for the emergence, assistance and social integration of victims of trafficking. The methods of implementation of this Program were defined by the Prime Minister's Decree of 16 May 2016.
The Prime Minister's Decree provides, in particular, that the Single Program is implemented through projects implemented at a territorial level and aimed at ensuring, on a transitional basis, the recipients, adequate conditions of accommodation, food and health care, and, subsequently, the continuation of the assistance and social integration. The projects, according to the Prime Minister's Decree, are identified through a public tender organized by the Department. The last call issued by the Department dates back to 2022 (call no. 5/2022) and made it possible to finance 21 projects, covering the entire national territory.
Anti-trafficking toll-free number
Since 2000, the Department has activated an anonymous call center service, free of charge and active 24 hours a day, dedicated to victims of trafficking (Numero verde antitratta). The toll-free number plays a central role within the national anti-trafficking system, not only for the front office activities aimed at the victims who turn to it, but also because it is entrusted with the task of interacting with the police, with the other Administrations involved, and with the subjects managing the victim protection interventions financed by the Department, for an adequate handling of the reports. The toll-free number is also responsible for the creation and management of the SIRIT system in collaboration with the Ministries concerned, the Regions and local autonomies as well as with the relevant associations.
Emergency Project Ukraine
Following the war events affecting the Ukrainian territory, the Department for Equal Opportunities activated a collaboration with the Department for Civil Protection which made it possible to reach the signing of an agreement with UNHCR, entirely financed by the Department, for the strengthening of support activities for refugees carried out at borders. A similar initiative has been developed with the IOM.
National action plan against trafficking
On 19 October 2022, the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of the President, the Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family and the Minister of the Interior, approved the adoption of the National Action Plan against trafficking and the serious exploitation of for the period 2022-2025, in implementation of EU directive 2011/36 which establishes the minimum standards relating to the definition of crimes and sanctions in the context of trafficking in human beings and common provisions for EU member states. The Plan defines the multi-year strategies and actions aimed at raising awareness, prevention, emergence and social integration of the victims and is based on the four guidelines that guide the fight against trafficking in human beings at an international level.
Individual specific actions are associated with these guidelines:
- Prevention through a greater number of actions aimed at preventing the further spread of the trafficking phenomenon. The continuous training actions of all the operators involved take on great importance in order to improve knowledge of the phenomenon, also putting in place information actions for the population;
- Prosecution of crime with measures to further advance the justice sector, strengthening the safety of victims and the dismantling of criminal structures dedicated to crime and judicial cooperation;
- Protection through suitable tools to guarantee victims, with particular attention to women, minors and vulnerable categories;
- Cooperation through actions of a supplementary and supportive nature, to spread the culture of legality and give a new course to the history of the phenomenon.
Regarding the governance, the Plan confirmed the establishment of the political-institutional Steering Committee, and of a technical support committee in order to ensure the adoption of a multidisciplinary and integrated approach between the various players, both institutional and private.
EU and international cooperation
Efforts to combat trafficking in human beings focus on law enforcement cooperation, particularly bilaterally, in the field of organized crime and irregular migration.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) participates in the activities of preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and in the protection of victims through international cooperation interventions both in the development sector and in the migration field. In the last ten years it has financed numerous projects and acted as an intermediary for the signing of intervention protocols with some of the countries of origin of the victims of exploitation.
Thanks to the Migration Fund (formerly the Africa Fund), since 2017, the year of its establishment, projects in the field of migration have been financed in collaboration with United Nations agencies, for a total of over 308 million euros. Of these, projects for around 40 million contain activities to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings. Even the Farnesina Award Fund, which since 2019 has allocated 30 million euros to projects of the United Nations agencies in the field of migration, has financed activities of this type (in projects for around 22 million euros). Financing of projects in the sector through the Migration Fund is also envisaged for the next few years. Furthermore, MAECI promotes in all international fora (United Nations, OSCE, European Union, in particular) initiatives to combat human trafficking and in support of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), and its three Protocols (including those against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Trafficking) in order to ensure their effective application. Furthermore, the MAECI has promoted and financially supported the revision mechanism of the Convention, which is being implemented within the UNODC.
The Department for Equal Opportunities in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ensures the collection of data and information elements with the other Administrations involved (Ministry of Justice and Ministry of the Interior above all) to be transmitted to the US Department of State in order to ensure a correct representation of the Italian policies i n the Trafficking in Persons Report drawn up annually.
Relevant contacts, documents and links
Department for Equal Opportunities - Presidency of the Council of Ministers
Office for International Affairs and General Affairs
Tel. 06 6779 2430
Largo Chigi, 19
00187 Rome, Italy
Third sector associations
Via di Santa Maria Maggiore, 148
Tel. (+39) 06 44230403
Fax. (+39) 06 25496183
Via Aurelia, 796
Tel. (+39) 06 661771
Fax (+39) 06 66177602
Via Casalecchio, 5
47924 Rimini (RN)
Tel. (+39) 0541 1528600
Piazza Sant’Egidio, 3 a
Tel. (+39) 06 4292929
Fax: (+39) 06 5800197
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Corso Trapani, 91/b
Tel. (+39) 011 3841011
Fax: (+39) 011 3841066
Piazza San Francesco di Paola, 9
Tel: (+39) 06 4807001
Fax: (+39) 06.48070039
Via Palestro, 68
Numero Verde 800 745000
Via Carlo Tenca, 14,
Via Leopardi, 24
Tel. (+39) 06 802121
Via L. G. Faravelli, Casale Strozzi Superiore
Tel: (+39) 06 44231428
Fax: (+39) 06 4402533
Tel. (+39) 011 4369158
E-mail : email@example.com
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