While Italy is an iconic country renowned for its ancient ruins, artistic masterpieces, and culinary creations, it is also becoming known as a top destination in the world for commercial sex trafficking. Prostitution has been legal in Italy for over 50 years and traffickers have developed an extensive network that is alive and well today.
This presents huge challenges for anti-trafficking workers that are totally insurmountable without unified efforts such as those which ATR are attempting to mobilize.
Some estimate that 120 thousand victims of trafficking are trapped in the commercial sex industry of Italy today, which generates 3.9 billion euros annually. The root of the problem is the demand from the 3 million buyers each year and the results are devastating for the women, men, and children who are treated like disposable objects in this deplorable “marketplace”.
We believe that victims of sex trafficking are never objects to be sold but treasures who are inherently valuable. They are people who have been forced, coerced or tricked into a life of sexual exploitation. They had dreams and aspirations for a better life through legitimate work in Italy, but instead found themselves trapped in the nightmare of sex slavery. They want a way out and they need someone to walk with them to help them find it.