Migration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean - Chapter 15

Vulnerability to exploitation and abuse along the Mediterranean migration routes to Italy

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This chapter investigates whether migrants using different routes to reach Italy have different characteristics and what individual risk factors and aggravating contextual factors are associated with higher or lower vulnerability of migrants to a selected set of experiences of abuse, violence and exploitation that might amount to human trafficking. The chapter is based on IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix Flow Monitoring Surveys, conducted with approximately 12,000 migrants aged 14 years or older, who arrived in Italy through different migration routes across the Mediterranean from 2016 to 2018. The results show that age and sex affect the probability of experiencing abuse and exploitation, with younger and male respondents being more vulnerable to direct experiences of unpaid or forced work and of being held against their will.