Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) published a report providing as assessment of the progress Italy has made in the past four years in relation to combating trafficking in human beings, linked to the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. In their press release Council of Europe notes there have been positive developments such as “amendments to the Criminal Code and the adoption of a law strengthening the protection of unaccompanied children, including child victims of trafficking, the adoption of the first National Action Plan against human trafficking and a “Single programme for the emergence, assistance and social integration of victims of trafficking and exploitation”, considerable increase in the budgetary funding allocated to anti-trafficking projects and the setting up of more reception centres for unaccompanied children, adoption of guidelines for the identification of victims of trafficking among applicants for international protection and the involvement of specialised NGOs in the victim identification process”.
Nevertheless, there are still grave concerns over some of the measures that are a step back compared to the above mentioned example. These include, according to the press release “recently adopted legislation excluding asylum seekers from access to reception centres risks leaving possible victims of trafficking without assistance”. In addition, GRETA recommends Italian authorities to:
- Improve the identification of the victims of human trafficking upon their arrival to Italy,
- Proactively investigate, prosecute and sanction cases of trafficking
- Prevent unaccompanied or separated children from going missing,
- Establish dedicated centers for the asylum seekers who are often victims of trafficking.