Italy: International protection to victims of human trafficking cannot be dependent on one’s contribution to identify traffickers

Friday, July 14, 2017

On 14 July 2017, the Tribunal of Messina ruled on case no. 316/2017 regarding the refusal by the Italian administrative authorities to grant refugee status to a Nigerian woman who had been a victim of human trafficking. While the authorities were able to identify all elements of human trafficking in the case, the applicant herself never admitted being a victim and was reluctant to describe details of her case, which led the authorities to reject her application for international protection.

However, the Tribunal of Messina ruled that the assessment of the need of an applicant who was a victim of human trafficking to be granted international protection cannot be linked to a victim’s complete willingness to provide details of her journey and exploitation, nor can it be dependent on his or her contribution in identifying the traffickers. Therefore, since it was evident from the information available that the applicant had been a victim of trafficking, the Tribunal granted her refugee status.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

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Refugee Status
Trafficking in human beings