Rome, 23 October 2006. A two-day seminar was held in Rome to find solutions to the problem of human trafficking. This seminar was held jointly by the Council of Europe’s Campaign to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and the Italian department for Equal Opportunities. The two groups stressed the importance of having a united effort to fight trafficking, both at the European level and with countries around the world.
Trafficking statistics published found that over 2.45 million people are trafficked, mostly women and children. Also, 43% of them are brought to work in the sex industry and 32% are as laborers.
In 2005, the Council of Europe created the Convention on Action in Trafficking in Human Beings that was signed by 30 countries, but only three have ratified it so far. The convention would get higher cooperation between states, compensate victims for the crimes against them, and impose higher fines on traffickers. Also, victims would be treated as such rather than illegal immigrants.
Shortly before this seminar, the Italian cabinet passed a decree regarding the treatment of traffickers. Under this decree, the traffickers would face tougher penalties for crimes that would provide them with long-term gain, increased jail time, and an increase in the amount of time to investigate crimes so there is a better chance of a conviction.
Italy has been viewed as being strong in the area of anti-traffickign legislation. 10,000 victims have benefited from their laws between March 2000 and April 2005. They have given victims training, education and work. However, Catholic Charity Caritas feels that the initiatives are not fully meeting their goals. Women are not given enough residency permits to stay in the country. Also, they are not given legal protection so they are not secure from deportation.
Compiled from ANSA, 19 October 2006. Italy Urges Action on Slave Trade. Available http://ansa.it/main/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2006-10-19_1197441.html; also available http://www.wunrn.com.