World Social Justice Day

17.02.2023 – In 2007, a United Nations resolution established World Social Justice Day on 20 February. And yet it is estimated that more than 40 million people are affected by human trafficking rings still to this day.

In reference to this important public policy issue and in conjunction with this international initiative, Inapp has published a study documenting some extreme aspects of human exploitation induced through fraud, coercion and violence. The paper “The Dark Side of Globalization: Observations on Human Trafficking and Subservient Performance” looks at the topic of trafficking by combining sources from international institutions and analyses of the scientific literature, shedding light on how to better understand the challenges of tackling this issue, especially with respect to the victims and traffickers. Specifically, the publication emphasises that the phenomenon, “despite the gradual refinement of sanctioning mechanisms and coordinated actions between states and supranational agencies, does not appear to be significantly declining, proving in fact to be characterised by capacities of no small magnitude over the last few years, to the point of affecting practically all geographic areas of the planet where exploited people flee their country of origin to reach a new destination’’.

The numbers are staggering: forced labour is capable of producing, on an annual basis, illegal net gains in excess of $150 billion. Globally, sex trafficking is considered the most profitable transnational crime, following upon the drug market: profits are estimated at 23.5 billion in Europe alone. In terms of percentages, the number of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation has always represented the majority of the target universe, but the gap is narrowing with other types of trafficking, such as that in agricultural labour.

The study, authored by Antonello Scialdone, head of the Inapp Civil Economy and Migration Processes Unit, also assesses the outcomes of institutional actions thus far pursued in the Italian context, and provides an initial overview of the recently approved new National Plan of Action against Trafficking and Serious Exploitation of Human Beings 2022-2025.