Demand in the Context of Trafficking in Human Beings in the Domestic Work Sector in Italy

Research output: Book/ReportBook


While both the topics of domestic work (DW) and trafficking human beings (THB) have received increasedattention in scholarship, there is very limited research on the nexus of these two issues in Italy, i.e. oncases of THB in the DW sector. This paper investigates the forms of severe exploitation and THB in DWin Italy and examines the factors affecting the demand-side in this sector. Moreover, it analyses the gapsin current legal and political responses.The paper highlights that domestic workers frequently experience several forms of exploitation andmaltreatment, which go from the violation of the fundamental protection provided by the contract to severeabuse and trafficking. The hidden nature of DW renders the identification of cases of THB extremelydifficult. The paper reveals that while economic motivations are the main factor influencing the demandfor cheap and exploitable workers in DW, other aspects, such as political, legal, social and cultural factors,also play a crucial role in affecting the demand-side. Moreover, this study points out that Italian legal andpolitical responses to THB and severe exploitation have proven inadequate in preventing thesephenomena and in protecting the rights of the victims. By highlighting the need to adopt a comprehensiveapproach to THB, the paper proposes a set of recommendations in regard to political and legal responses,also addressing the demand-side.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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