Trafficking in human beings is developing as an alarming phenomenon of modern slavery.

National and international jurisprudences appear often too slow in the attempt to embrace the legal complexities of the offence and prosecute it efficiently. The crime of trafficking is frequently disguised under the appearance of illegal immigration, incitement to prostitution, exploitantion of child labour,  enslavement of seasonal workers and removal of organs. Challenges in definining what constitutes an act of trafficking translate in a widespread impunity.

The phenomenon seems more and more intertwined with the smuggling of migrants from the Third World, resorting more or less consciously to traffickers in order to gain illegal entry into European countries. In such a context, the element of the person’s true will, as influenced and manipulated, is more and more complicated to be ascertained. The line between migrants’ real intention and a sort of complicity with the traffickers becomes thin and blurred.

The Centre for War & Peace Studies is focused on assessing the link between trafficking in human beings and migration processes, the latter being multiplier factors of the crime. The Centre pays particular attention to the dynamics of migration and exploitation within the African continent, where people massively move across-the-board of  social status, ethnical belonging and national borders. Demographic pressure vis-a-vis dramatically-decreasing livelihoods, conflicts, guerrilla warfare, discriminations on ethnical, political and economic grounds, climate and environmental changes, financial collapses and endemic corruption up to the level of ruling classes are amongst the root causes of intra-African migration flows and spill-over into the Mediterranean Europe.

The Centre is currently researching into rather-consolidated migrations trends towards Italy by land and particularly by sea, with a special emphasis on the organized crime in all its different components – trafficking in human beings, weapons, drug, foreign fighters – and along the same routes, in preparation for the Link Campus-based event “Solutions to end human trafficking” (CNN broadcast) on 8 November.