From the Italian report, a focus on how local politics are affecting the possibility to contrast trafficking

Credits. Foto via Flickr/ Steve Gumaer
Credits. Foto via Flickr/ Steve Gumaer


The so-called “refugee emergency” has impacted the way policy makers, police officers and the general public perceive the trafficking phenomenon. The current “Italian emergency” concerns the management of the arrivals and the management of migrants applying for asylum or humanitarian protection. This resulted in a decline in the attention to the trafficking of human beings, both due to the quantitative dimension of the “new” phenomenon (arrivals and assistance of refugees) and for the fact that frequently the term ‘trafficking’ is used indifferently for either migratory flows characterized by exploitation (trafficking) as well as for those characterized by crossing the border without documents (smuggling of migrants). In recent months therefore the term human trafficking is used and linked to migration flows involving irregular economic migrants and refugees and not to the criminal phenomenon, such as defined by the Palermo Protocol and Directive 2011/36/EU.

The media, and some politicians, are contributing to create a perception of emergency and advocate for a zero tolerance attitude towards undocumented immigration, in this context approaches and services based on the concept of solidarity, hospitality and respect for human rights is invoked. Regardless of the reduced interest in trafficking, that also seems to be linked to a substantial weakening of the Department of Equal Opportunities (responsible for the coordination of anti-trafficking measures), the integration between systems of protection concerning asylum seekers and those in favor of the victims of trafficking should in fact be strengthened and developed, also due to the fact that it is possible that, within the flows related to international protection, situations of trafficking emerge.

The Italian report was prepared by Expert for Europe

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