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Trafficking for Labour Exploitation: Assessing Anti-Trafficking Interventions in Italy

1 April 2015 – 3 January 2016

In recent years, Italy has seen a significant increase in cases of trafficking for labour exploitation in sectors such as domestic work, agriculture, and construction.

This project aims to critically assess current responses to trafficking for labour exploitation in Italy, and propose alternative frameworks for developing more effective strategies with regard to prevention, and protection of victims. In so doing, the study will explore how Directive 2011/36/EU on trafficking has been implemented in Italian legislation, and will investigate the enforcement of other relevant legal instruments, particularly in the field of labour and employment law. It will thus provide tools and suggestions for improving the implementation of existing legislation, and advocate for more effective measures.

The project was focused on the trafficking of men and women for labour exploitation in the agriculture sector in Sicily, and in the domestic work sector in Tuscany.



Project reports

Policy Brief


  • Map the ways in which regulation of migration, and working conditions expose migrant workers to serious labour exploitation and trafficking in the agriculture and domestic work sectors in Italy;
  • Offer a comprehensive analysis of the impact of anti-trafficking interventions in Italy with regard to identification, assistance, and protection of victims, and preventive measures;
  • Offer relevant policy advice by clarifying three crucial and highly contested concepts: abuse of a position of vulnerability, consent, and exploitation;
  • Propose amendments to the policy implementation framework aimed at providing firmer ground on which to build coherent and practical measures to protect victims, beyond the context of criminal law, and through the alternative use of legal instruments of private and labour law;
  • Produce a Practical Guide for legal practitioners and policy makers to improve prevention strategies and protection of victims.


The study is structured in three phases:

  • Mapping and contacting institutions
  • Policy texts and case law analysis, and fieldwork (in-depth interviews with professionals and experts – lawyers, judges, police officers, social workers, staff of trade unions, academics, and activists – and with migrants – victims of trafficking who have accessed rehabilitation programmes);
  • Dissemination of results among policy actors and experts.


Trafficking for Labour Exploitation: Assessing Anti-Trafficking Interventions in Italy

EUIAnna Triandafyllidou
Letizia Palumbo

Co-funded by osf_logo

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Past Event

Trafficking for Labour Exploitation in Domestic Work, 11 November 2015, Florence, Tuscany, organised under the auspices of the TRAFFICKO and DEMANDAT projects.

Which Rights, Whose Justice: Severe Exploitation and Trafficking in Agriculture in Sicily, 3 March 2016