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Protection of trafficked people in Italy: policies, limits and challenges

Letizia Palumbo (Department of European Studies and International Integration, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




The purpose of the article is to analyse the Italian anti-trafficking system by examining its effectiveness in the protection of trafficked people.


The article examines the protection of trafficked people in Italy, focusing in particular on the implementation of Article 18 of the “Consolidated Act of Measures Governing Immigration and Norms on the Condition of Foreign Citizens” (Legislative Decree n. 286/1998), which provides victims with protection and a residence permit independent of their cooperation with the competent authorities in criminal proceedings against offenders.


The article demonstrates that, though the Italian legal framework on trafficking is considered one of the most innovative and advanced, especially in the area of victim protection, a number of inadequacies in its implementation undermine the effectiveness of the measures aimed at protecting trafficked people. These concern the absence of a clear and appropriate victim identification procedure; the lack of adequate training in trafficking among professionals; the incomplete application of a procedure called the “social path” for the issuing of the residence permit; the narrow interpretation by competent authorities of the requirements for the residence permit granted to victims; the long lapse of time for the issuing of the residence permit; difficulties in the conversion of the residency permit granted to victims into a work permit; and the scarcity of economic resources.


The article contributes to scientific and political debates on the effectiveness of anti-trafficking policies.



Palumbo, L. (2015), "Protection of trafficked people in Italy: policies, limits and challenges", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 52-65.



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