Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Italy

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Italy, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 24 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Italy (Tier 1)

Italy is a country of destination and transit to other EU countries for sex and labor trafficking. Italian authorities estimate 70,000 victims of sex trafficking are reported in the country, originating from Nigeria, Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, China and South America (Ecuador, Peru and Colombia). Albanian gangs control the majority of street prostitution with the cooperation of Italian mafia.

The Government of Italy fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Italian government has a strong legal framework that criminalizes trafficking and prioritizes human rights. Italian anti-trafficking law enforcement continued to be strong both domestically and internationally. Advocates are concerned that pending laws on immigration and prostitution may conflict with the currently strong legal protections for trafficking victims.


The government focused its prevention efforts on bilateral activities with source countries, such as Nigeria, Albania, Ukraine, and Romania, to diminish trafficking. With Nigeria in particular, Italy has provided financial resources, equipment and training to Nigerian police and NGOs working on trafficking prevention. The government also entered a regional agreement with neighboring countries to strengthen border controls, cooperation, and visa requirements. The Ministry of Equal Opportunity sponsors information campaigns and a hotline for potential victims in both Italian and English. The police sponsored law enforcement sensitivity training on general trafficking, including increased efforts on labor trafficking awareness.


The government vigorously enforces its anti-trafficking criminal legislation, especially through coordinated international operations. Italian police have a special anti-trafficking unit trained and directed to enforce anti-trafficking criminal laws, dedicating 85 Italian law enforcement officers to trafficking cases. In conjunction with Europol, Italian police executed "Operation Sunflower Two" through which they apprehended 80 traffickers in several Western European countries. Through "Operation Kanun", a joint operation with the Government of Albania, Italian police sentenced 104 Albanian traffickers to prison for trafficking-related mafia activities. According to public sources, Italian authorities arrested and prosecuted over 100 other suspected traffickers in the territory of Italy.


Over 2,500 temporary residency and work permits were given to trafficking victims in 2002, granting access to legal and medical assistance, work, education, and witness protection via an established network of government-recognized NGOs working on trafficking. Provisions for trafficking victims' protection are outlined under Article 18 and administered by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity. The Ministry introduced the "Exit Door" publicity campaign to help prostitutes know their rights and exit the trade. While the government's 2002 budget reduced the majority of all financial allocations for social services, including anti-trafficking expenditures, seventy projects out of eighty submitted last year were approved, representing a net increase of 10% compared to 2001.

Search Refworld