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Letizia Palumbo

Research Associate, DemandAT





Biographical note

Letizia Palumbo is a Research Associate at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Global Governance Programme. She is also a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Comparative Law at the University of Palermo, Italy. She was a Research Associate for the project Trafficking for Labour Exploitation: Assessing Anti-Trafficking Interventions in Italy  (TRAFFICKO) at the EUI (April 2015 – March 2016). She was also a researcher (national expert for Italy) for the DemandAT project – Domestic Work Case Study at the EUI.  She graduated with a degree in Political Sciences from the University of Bologna, and in 2012 she completed her PhD in Human Rights at the University of Palermo.

Her research interests include human trafficking, gender and migration, labour exploitation and human rights. At present, she is conducting research on trafficking for labour exploitation in agriculture and domestic work sectors in the EU, in particular in Italy and the UK.  

She has been a visiting fellow in a number of international universities, including the Columbia Law School, New York; the Fordham Law School, New York; and the Birkbeck School of Law, London. She also serves as a trainer on trafficking issues.


Selected Publications

  • Palumbo, L. (2017, Forthcoming), Exploiting for Care: Trafficking and Abuse in domestic work in Italy, Journal of Immigration and Refugee Studies 15(2)
  • Palumbo, L. (Forthcoming), The Borders of Legal Motherhood: Rethinking Access to Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Europe in Y. Ergas, J. Jenson and S. Michel (Eds.), Bodies and Borders: Negotiating Motherhood in the 21st Century,NY, Columbia University Press.
  • Palumbo, L. (2015), Protection of Trafficked People in Italy: Policies, Limits and Challenges Journal of Money Laundering Control,  18 Iss: 1, pp.52 – 65.
  • Palumbo, L. & Sciurba, A. (2015), Vulnerability to Forced Labour and Trafficking: The case of Romanian women in the agricultural sector in Sicily,Anti-trafficking Review, issue 5. 
  • Palumbo, L. (2014), Labour Exploitation and Trafficking in the Agricultural Sector. Reflections on the (In)efficacy of Anti-trafficking interventions in Italy, The Cardozo Electronic Law Bulletin 
  • Palumbo, L. (2013), Presentazione. Ius migrandi: Concetti e limiti, Ragion Pratica,  41, December 2013, pp. 1-8.
  • Palumbo, L. (2013) (Ed.), Ius Migrandi. Concetti e limiti, Ragion Pratica, N. 41, December 2013.

Online Articles

  • Palumbo, L. & Triandafyllidou, A. (2016) (Eds.), Addressing severe exploitation: a critical view of awareness and transparency initiatives, Special issue on the blog Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, OpenDemocracy. 
  • Palumbo, L. (2016), Why Show Your Cards? The Problem of Transparency in Agricultural Supply Chains,OpenDemocracy
  • Palumbo, L. (2016), Gender Exploitation in the agricultural sector,EUI Times, Winter, pp. 21-22.
  • Palumbo, L. (2015), The need for a gendered approach to exploitation and trafficking, OpenDemocracy
  • Palumbo, L. & Sciurba, A. (2015), New mobility regimes, new forms of exploitation in Sicily,OpenDemocracy
  • Palumbo, L. & Romano, S. (2014), La Corte dei diritti dell’uomo, un po’ meno delle donne,
  • Palumbo, L. (2009), Another Step Backwards For Women’s Rights in Italy,Columbia University Gender & Sexuality Law Blog, 


  • Palumbo, L. (2016),Trafficking and Labour Exploitation in Domestic Work and the Agricultural Sector in Italy, Project report.
  • Palumbo, L. (2016), Grave sfruttamento e tratta nel lavoro domestico e in agricoltura in Italia: un’analisi critica degli strumenti di contrasto, prevenzione e tutela delle vittime, Project report.
  • Palumbo, L. (2016), Grave sfruttamento in agricoltura e nel lavoro domestico in Italia. I limiti della normativa e delle politiche: alcune proposte di intervento, Policy Brief.
  • Palumbo, L. (2016), Case study report addressing demand in the context of THB and forced labour in the domestic work sector in Italy, DemandAT Country Study No. 5.
  • Palumbo, L. (2016), Exploited for Care: Abuse and Trafficking in Domestic Work in Italy, DemandAT, Policy Brief.