Human trafficking in Italy


According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, human trafficking in Italy is the third source of income for criminal organizations, after arms and drugs trade.

The Italian legislation to combat trafficking in human beings is essentially based on Law no. 228 of 11 August 2003 entitled “Measures against trafficking in persons” and on Article 18 of Legislative Decree 286 of 1998 (Immigration law).

The provided protection is articulated into two main parts: first sheltering and a period of reflection on the one hand, social protection and work inclusion of the person in the national territory or, if possible, in the country of origin on the other. The first of these two moments is regulated by article 13 of law no. 228/2003, which provides an assistance program specific for victims of trafficking and exploitation. It is meant to ensure transitional protection through adequate housing conditions, food, health care and psychological assistance.

The real protection of victims is related to the release of a special permit of stay, as provided by article 18 of law no. 286/1998, an advanced model in this field as it is not bound to the cooperation of victims in criminal proceedings against traffickers or exploiters.


In general, the Italian System conforms to and promotes the guiding principles internationally recognized. Among these, of major importance is the principle of the independence of the victim, achieved through a program of assistance and the building of individual autonomy; then the principle of integration, meant for both the people involved, with their different origins and purposes, and for the policies adopted. Finally, the subsidiarity principle is based on the territorial dimension, that becomes the main reference point on which the interventions are structured.