DTM Flow Monitoring Survey in Italy and the Human Trafficking and Other Exploitative Practices Prevalence Module

The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is a system to track and monitor the displacement and population mobility. It is designed to regularly and systematically capture, process and disseminate information to provide a better understanding of the movements and evolving needs of displaced populations, whether on site or en route.

Between June and November 2016, more than 6,400 interviews have been conducted through a network of IOM data collectors in around 40 entry and transit points in Sicily, Apulia, Calabria, including the 4 hotspots operating in the country.

Since February 2017, data collection has resumed in 5 Regions of Italy: Sicily, Apulia, Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Liguria. In the South of Italy (Sicily, Apulia), migrants are interviewed in entry and transit points close to ports where disembarkations procedures take place following SAR (Search and Rescue) operations in the Central Mediterranean (Catania, Pozzallo, Ragusa, Trapani, Bari, Brindisi, Taranto). In Lombardy and Liguria, data collection is conducted in centres for transiting migrants in areas close to the borders with Switzerland (Como) and France (Ventimiglia), and in Milan. In Friuli Venezia Giulia, 2 months of data collection have been carried out in reception centres for asylum seekers which prevalently host migrants arrived in Italy by land, from Slovenia and Austria.

Interviews are anonymous and participation is voluntary. the target population is that of migrants of 14 years of age or older, whose origin is a non-European country, and who arrived in Italy since no more than one year at the time of the interview. The sample is therefore not random but its composition in terms on nationality, sex and age of the respondents is quite similar to that of the total population of migrants arriving by sea in Italy.

The Basic Module of the survey - used by DTM in many countries – is designed to capture data which includes: the socioeconomic background of respondents; the routes that they have taken; their region of origin in their last country of habitual residence; their reasons for leaving their last country of habitual residence; what their intended country of destination is; and, who they are travelling with.

The FMS conducted in Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia also includes an Additional Module to capture information on the prevalence of exploitative practices and trafficking experienced while in transit. The Module has been prepared by IOM’s Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants (AVM) Unit and gathers information on direct experiences of migrants and on observed events during the journey. In particular, the survey asks whether or not the respondent has, during their journey:

  1. Worked or performed activities without getting the payment they expected
  2. Been forced to perform work or activities against their will
  3. Been approached by someone offering of an arranged marriage (for the respondent or anyone in his or her family)
  4. Been kept at a certain location against their will by persons other than the relevant authorities
  5. Been aware of instances where migrants en route had been approached by people offering cash in exchange for blood, organs, or other body parts
  6. Been aware of instances where migrants en route had been forced to give blood, organs or other body parts.

In Italy, two questions are being tested on physical and sexual violence, to understand whether the migrant during the journey has:

  1. Suffered personally from physical violence of any kind;
  2. Been aware of instances where migrants en route have been threatened with sexual violence.

Data on personal experiences described by migrants do not aim to determine cases of human trafficking as defined by international and Italian laws, but to give a synthetic and systematic picture of the overall prevalence of exploitative practices, violence and abuses and on the circumstances and locations in which these events happen more frequently.

Latest publications:
● Report – Flow Monitoring Survey in Italy – 2016 (here)
● Report – Flow Monitoring and Human Trafficking Surveys in the Mediterranean and Beyond – February-April 2017 (here)


All DTM materials on the Mediterranean region can be found on the portal: http://migration.iom.int/europe/ (in the "Documents" section)

For updates on activities and publications at the global level, please register to the DTM Newsletter: http://bit.ly/DTMNewsSubscribe




 This project is funded with the support from the UK Department of International Development (DFID)