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UN rights expert urges Italy to increase efforts to fight human trafficking

The UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo [official profile] called Friday on the government of Italy to increase efforts to disrupt and eliminate [press release] human trafficking [JURIST backgrounder; news archive]. In the release issued at the end of Ezeilo's official visit to the country she concluded that:

The phenomenon of trafficking in persons in Italy is unfortunately expanding in scale and impact. Traffickers are demonstrating a growing capacity for violence, exploitation and abuse of their victims. The anti-trafficking measures initiated by the Government require continuing monitoring and evaluation if significant progress is to be made and the vicious cycle broken.
The Special Rapporteur strongly recommended that the Italian government put in place laws consistent with EU directive 36 [text, PDF] on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims. The expert expressed concern over the lack of unified national strategy to combat human trafficking and a lack of a comprehensive statistical system to map the phenomenon in the country. Ezeilo will present her findings and recommendations in a report to the UN Human Rights Council [official website] in 2014.

In June Ezeilo urged Morocco to adopt a victim-centered approach [press release] to combat human trafficking in the country. Also in June the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) [official website] and the government of Japan came to an agreement [JURIST report] to increase efforts to combat drug and human trafficking in Africa and Southeast Asia. In February the UN International Labor Organization (ILO) [official website] released a report [JURIST report] urging greater efforts to end forced labor. The ILO estimates that 21 million people are subject to forced labor, which often includes human trafficking for labor exploitation. The report stressed the need for more stringent action to prevent abuses, identify victims and prosecute perpetrators.

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