Rome, 25 March 2010. The Seminar “Trafficking, on the victims’ side” has been organized in Rome, at the Auditorium Riccardo Scocozza of the Cassa Nazionale di Previdenza e Assistenza Forense, located in Via Ennio Quirino Visconti 6.
The event springs from the project “Preventing and Combating Trafficking of Minors and Young Women from Nigeria to Italy,” a programme that is being developed in Italy and in Nigeria by the United Nations Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italian Development Cooperation.
The Seminar, which takes place during the UN International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, was born from the collaboration with the Unione forense per la tutela dei diritti dell’uomo (the Forensic Union for the Protection of Human Rights) and focuses on victims’ protection.
Trafficking in human beings is an appalling phenomenon that is growing at alarming rates throughout the world. The exact numbers of this modern-day slave trade are difficult to quantify, therefore complicating the efforts of setting up effective counter strategies. The United Nations estimates that there are 2.7 million victims of trafficking around the world; of these, 80% are women and children. This phenomenon, which is managed by transnational criminal networks, generates a massive turnover of about 32 billion dollars a year, a number similar to the revenues accrued from trafficking of weapons or narcotics.
As for Italy, according to the official data issued by the Department for Equal Opportunities, between 2000 and 2007 a total of 54,559 victims of trafficking were contacted and accompanied to the social services. In the last year alone, over 2,670 phone calls were made to the toll-free support line, which was launched by the aforementioned Ministry in 2000 to assist trafficking victims. Nigeria and Romania are the two main countries of origin, but other significant flows also originate from Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Bulgaria.
According to some estimates, about 10% of the migrant women working the streets of prostitution are actually victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation purposes.
The research carried out by UNICRI highlights the facts that, in the lower bracket of the sex market, a Nigerian woman in the hands of the trafficking network can make them as much as 5,000 euros a month. Moreover, to free herself from the debt contracted with her exploiters, the girl has to pay an average of 50-60,000 Euros.
Among the speakers conducting the Seminar, there are Councillor Fabrizio Nava (Directorate-General of Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Angela Patrignani (Head of UNICRI’s Emerging Crimes and Anti-Human Trafficking Unit), Attorney Mario Lana (President of the Forensic Union for the Protection of Human Rights), Attorney Lorenzo Trucco (President of the Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione – the association for legal studies on immigration) and Attorney Enrica Casetta (Associazione Tampep Onlus).
This Seminar represents the first step along a path of information and training. The event allows for the active participation of the audience to confront daily experiences and to provide stimuli for an in-depth examination of the subject.