Italian Policy on Prostitution and Trafficking for sexual exploitation


The number of prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation offences reported over the last 3 years (2011-2013) has decreased, on average, by 15

Relevant legislation:

Law No. 75 of 20 February 1958 concerning the abolition of regulations governing prostitution and the fight against the exploitation of the prostitution of others ordered the closure of brothels and introduced the offences under Art. 3.

Art. 18 of the Italian Consolidated Immigration Law (Legislative Decree No. 286 of 25 July 1998) on the residence permit for reasons of social protection provides a vital tool for protecting victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation also in the context of specific investigative actions.

Law No. 228 of 11 August 2003 concerning measures against trafficking in persons has introduced significant changes to criminal law and procedure and redefined the criminal offences of trafficking in persons and enslavement.

Legislative Decree No. 24 of 4 March 2014 implementing Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA has introduced, inter alia, a training obligation for public officials engaged in anti-trafficking efforts, a right to compensation for victims of human trafficking, a single identification, assistance and social integration programme to ensure, for a transitional period, adequate standards of accommodation, meals and healthcare pursuant to Art. 13 of Law No. 228/2003. In addition, the Decree provides for the adoption of a National Action Plan against trafficking in and serious exploitation of human beings.

Policy activity:

The extent and development of these phenomena and the growing interest of transnational crime groups for organising and managing trafficking have dictated strategic choices in enforcement efforts also affecting the organisation of central and local police units. Starting from 2001 foreign crime and prostitution sections have been established within the Squadre Mobili (CID units) of the Questure (National Police Provincial Headquarters), with Immigration Offices exclusively dedicated to conducting administrative activities related to the entry and stay of foreign nationals.

Within the Central Anticrime Directorate of the Italian National Police, the Central Operations Service carries out monitoring of criminal incidents with a view to stimulating and coordinating investigative activities by local units engaged in the fight against these crimes. On the prevention level, the Central Operations Service also represents a point of reference for the Italian National Police and the Department of Public Security for partnership initiatives with relevant institutions and private associations.

Positive results have been achieved through a still ongoing bilateral cooperative initiative with Romania named ITA.RO, with Romanian police officers directly participating in investigative activities targeting Romanian crime groups engaged in the exploitation of prostitution and predatory crimes.

Lastly, to strengthen multi-agency cooperation, a Memorandum of Understanding on guidelines for the coordination of activities against trafficking in human beings was concluded on 28 April 2010 between the Department of Public Security and the National Antimafia Prosecutors Office.

Web pages dedicated to this issue can be found at:

Contact details:
Servizio per la Cooperazione Internazionale di Polizia
Via Torre di Mezzavia nr. 9/121 00173 -   Roma
e-mail address: