The Council of Europe Group of experts against human trafficking (GRETA) published on 30 January 2017 an urgent procedure report concerning Italy. The report reveals gaps in the detection of victims of trafficking among newly arriving migrants and unaccompanied children. Particular attention is paid to the situation of Nigerian women and girls, who have been arriving in Italy in increasing numbers and many of whom are likely to be trafficked for the purpose of exploitation in Europe. GRETA raises concerns about the failure to identify them as victims of trafficking at an early stage, the disappearance of unaccompanied children from reception centres, and the manner in which forced returns of victims of trafficking to their country of origin take place. The report, which was preceded by a visit to Italy in September 2016, assesses the specific situation of forced returns of victims of trafficking from Italy and the identification of victims of trafficking among asylum seekers and migrants.
The visit to Italy was organised pursuant to Rule 7 of the Rules of procedure for evaluating the implementation of the Convention by the Parties, which enables GRETA to react to a situation requiring immediate attention by making an urgent request for information to the party concerned and subsequently, when necessary, carrying out an ad hoc visit.
This was the first time that GRETA conducted an “urgent procedure” visit.