IOM in Italy dedicates specific programmes and actions to the protection of vulnerable groups, particularly unaccompanied migrant children (UMCs) and victims of trafficking.
With regard to UMCs, the Italian Mission cooperates with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies on issues concerning reception and integration. More specifically, within the scope of the Asylum Migration Integration Fund Emergency Assistance 2014 - together with UNCHR, Save the Children (Italy), the Red Cross – IOM supports capacity of the primary reception system for UMCs landing in Italy. Through regular visits, information/support and counselling, IOM’s intervention focuses on providing support in correctly applying principles and procedures related to: how to best gather information useful to conduct family tracing and assessment; protection of UMCs from being trafficked for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation; psychosocial support to those in need.
IOM in Italy carries out family tracing and assessments in the origin country or in the country of residence of the family, so as to provide a set of information to support the Italian responsible authorities in understanding which are the UMC’s most suitable integration perspectives and needs.
Due to the increase in the number of potential victims of trafficking, since 2014 IOM in Italy has two anti-trafficking teams dedicated to the early identification and protection of vulnerable cases. Such teams also provide border management authorities and law enforcement with specific support and training on trafficking indicators and protection mechanisms envisaged by the international and Italian legislation. IOM gives particular attention to the labour exploitation of migrants: in this field, IOM staff carry out ad hoc legal information sessions for all migrants in the main reception centres. Since 2016, IOM has began implementing specific programmes increasingly focusing on trafficking for labour exploitation and forced labour.