Save the Children Italy has published a report providing an updated overview of the trafficking and exploitation systems of minors in Italy, with a special focus on sexual exploitation. The 13th edition of the report was published days ahead of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, with devastating findings. According to the report, ‘a quarter of suspected or identified trafficking victims in Europe are children and the main goal of human traffickers is sexual exploitation’, followed by labour exploitation; two-thirds of the victims are women or girls, and it is estimated that around 1660 victims of trafficking live in Italy, of whom 13% are minors, mostly from Nigeria, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans. Save the Children's Vie d’Uscita - Exit Routes project predicts that the number of trafficked minors will likely increase.
‘A system of human trafficking that is so strong and ruthless towards girls and young women, and that is able to adapt and modify its work to stay hidden, makes it even more necessary to enhance cooperation with the countries of origin and transit, in order to strengthen the fight against trafficking as an international and transnational crime’, says Antonella Inverno, Head of Child Policy and Law at Save the Children Italy. For instance, traffickers in Romania scout orphanages for girls who will have to leave the institution when they turn 18 and try to seduce them.
This year`s report has a special feature, a graphic novel, ‘Sophia’s story’ — a true story about a teenage victim from Nigeria, which aims to raise awareness in schools about human trafficking and sexual exploitation.