Italy has its own version of the TVPA 2000: Law 228 passed in 2003, which like the TVPA is largely penal and designed to prosecute the traffickers.
Italy’s fame however is “Articolo 18”, which revised immigration law in 1998, making a special provision for cases of human trafficking. It offers the equivalence of a T-Visa in The States, but it is famous and the TVPA is not, because it comes with the contingent “reintegration program”.
In order for an illegal immigrant to exit the life, escape traffickers, and work legally in Italy, she starts with two options:
1. She can go to the police, or if already in their custody, and she can “denounce” (reveal the names of) her traffickers in Italy (pimps, madams, protectors, sponsors) to them directly.
2. She can go to an NGO like TAMPEP, and TAMPEP will take custody of her case.
This is the only real option. Since a condition of being trafficked is fear, fear of her traffickers and fear of deportation, she is not likely to walk into a police station and start giving names. What this means is that the police hand over the job of extracting information to the NGO. The NGO makes an agreement with law enforcement to work with the woman or girl by deploying social workers, cultural mediators and peer educators in order to relieve the girl of her fears and assist her in the process of “denouncing” her offenders.
>>Special note: Social workers act as case managers in every step of the process (health\legal\shelter\work). Cultural Mediators are from the country of origin and can speak to the woman in her language (both literally and figuratively and this is different from a translator or interpreter ***Please see entry titled: It’s all in the language). Peer Educators are survivors of trafficking or exited prostitutes who speak with the girls in that language.
To begin the reintegration program the girl shares her story with the NGO and receives a “permit of stay”, which means that she is not subject to deportation, but she cannot work legally–until the program is completed and she is thus ready to reintegrate.
I would also like to point out here, as SPECIAL NOTE, that should a girl come into contact with the police and she is identified as a prostitute, before any assessment is made as to whether she has been trafficked the protocol for law enforcement is to contact an NGO that specializes in the field, and who, like TAMPEP, provides social services and health care assistance to prostitutes.
Posted By Anya Gorovets (Italy)
Posted Oct 4th, 2006