All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions.
It is the duty of the Republic to remove those obstacles of an economic or social nature which constrain the freedom and equality of citizens, thereby impeding the full development of the human person and the effective participation of all workers in the political, economic and social organisation of the country.
The Republic recognises the right of all citizens to work and promotes those conditions which render this right effective.
Every citizen has the duty, according to personal potential and individual choice, to perform an activity or a function that contributes to the material or spiritual progress of society.
Personal liberty is inviolable
No obligation of a personal or financial nature may be imposed on any person except by law.
The Republic protects work in all its forms and practices. It provides for the training and professional advancement of workers. It promotes and encourages international agreements and organisations which have the aim of establishing and regulating labour rights. It recognises the freedom to emigrate, subject to the obligations set out by law in the general interest, and protects Italian workers abroad.
Workers have the right to a remuneration commensurate to the quantity and quality of their work and in any case such as to ensure them and their families a free and dignified existence. Maximum daily working hours are established by law. Workers have the right to a weekly rest day and paid annual holidays. They cannot waive this right. Italy Constitution
Article 600. Placing or holding a person in conditions of slavery or servitude
Whoever exercises on any other person powers and rights corresponding to ownership; or who reduces or maintains a person in a state of constant subjection, forcing that person to work or to provide sexual services or to beg or to any other illegal activity involving exploitation or to consent to the removal of organs, shall be punished with imprisonment from eight to twenty years.
Reduction or maintenance in a state of continuous subjection [soggezione] occurs when conduct is carried out by means of violence, threat, deception, abuse of authority or taking advantage of a situation of vulnerability, physical or mental inferiority or a situation of need, by promising or giving sums of money or other benefits to those having authority over the person.
The aforesaid penalty becomes harsher, increasing by one third to 50%, if the offences referred to in the first paragraph above are perpetrated against minors under eighteen or for sexual exploitation, prostitution or organ removal purposes.
Article 601. Trafficking in human beings
Whoever carries out trafficking in persons who are in the conditions referred to in article 600, that is, with a view to perpetrating the crimes referred to in the first paragraph of said article; or whoever leads any of the aforesaid persons through deceit or obliges such person by making use of violence, threats, or abuse of power; by taking advantage of a situation of physical or mental inferiority, and poverty; or by promising money or making payments or granting other kinds of benefits to those who are responsible for the person in question, to enter the national territory, stay, leave it or migrate to said territory, shall be punished with imprisonment from eight to twenty years. The aforesaid penalty becomes harsher, increasing by one third to 50%, if the offences referred to in this present article are perpetrated against minors under eighteen or for sexual exploitation, prostitution or organ removal purposes.
Article 602. Sale and purchase of slavesWhoever, in cases other than the ones referred to in article 601, purchases or sales or transfers any person who is in any of the conditions referred to in article 600, shall be punished with imprisonment from eight to twenty years. The aforesaid penalty becomes harsher, increasing by one third to 50%, if the offences referred to in this present article are perpetrated against minors under eighteen or for sexual exploitation, prostitution or organ removal purposes.
Art. 602 Ter - Aggravating circumstances
(1) The penalty for the offences referred to in Articles 600, 601 and 602 is increased from one third to half:
a) if the offended person is under eighteen years of age;
b) if the facts are directed to the exploitation of prostitution or in order to subject the offended person to the removal of organs;
c) if the fact results in a serious danger to the life or physical or psychological integrity of the injured party.
If the facts provided for in Title VII, Chapter III of this book are committed in order to commit or facilitate the offences referred to in Articles 600, 601 and 602, the penalties provided for therein shall be increased by between one third and one half.
In the cases provided for in articles 600-bis, first paragraph, and 600-ter, the penalty is increased by between one third and one half if the act is committed with violence or threats
(2) In the cases provided for in Articles 600-bis, first and second paragraphs, 600-ter, first paragraph, and 600-quinquies, the sentence shall be increased from one third to one half if the offence is committed taking advantage of the juvenile's situation of need
(3) In the cases provided for in articles 600-bis, first and second paragraphs, 600-ter and 600-quinquies, as well as articles 600, 601 and 602, the penalty shall be increased by half to two thirds if the act is committed to the detriment of a minor of sixteen years of age
(4) In the cases provided for in Articles 600-bis, first paragraph, and 600-ter, as well as, if the act is committed to the detriment of a child under the age of eighteen, by Articles 600, 601 and 602, the penalty shall be increased by half to two thirds if the act is committed by an ascendant, the adoptive parent, or their spouse or cohabiting partner, spouse or relatives within the second degree, by relatives up to the fourth degree of collateral care, by the guardian or by a person to whom the child has been entrusted for reasons of care, education, education, supervision, custody, work, or by public officials or persons in charge of a public service in the performance of their duties, or if it is committed to the detriment of a child in a state of mental, natural or caused infirmity or impairment
(5) In the cases provided for in Articles 600-bis, first paragraph, and 600-ter, as well as Articles 600, 601 and 602, the penalty shall be increased by half to two thirds if the offence is committed by the administration of alcoholic, narcotic or narcotic substances or in any case harmful to the physical or mental health of the minor, or if it is committed against three or more persons
(6) In the cases provided for in articles 600-bis, 600-ter, 600-quater, 600-quater.1. and 600-quinquies, the penalty is increased.
a) if the offence is committed by several persons together;
b) if the offence is committed by a person who is part of a criminal association and in order to facilitate its activity;
c) if the offence is committed with serious violence or if, as a result of the repetition of the conduct, serious harm is caused to the child
(7) The penalties envisaged for the offences referred to in the previous paragraph are increased by no more than two-thirds in cases where the offences are committed using means to prevent the identification of access data to computer networks.
(8) The extenuating circumstances, other than those provided for in articles 98 and 114, competing with the aggravating circumstances referred to in this section, cannot be considered equivalent or prevalent with respect to these, and the penalty reductions shall be applied to the amount of the same resulting from the increase due to the aforesaid aggravating circumstances.
Art. 603 Bis - Illegal intermediation and exploitation of labour.
Unless the fact constitutes a more serious offence, anyone who carries out an organised intermediation activity, recruiting labour or organising labour activities characterised by exploitation, through violence, threats or intimidation, taking advantage of the state of need or necessity of workers, shall be punished with imprisonment from five to eight years and a fine ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 euros for each worker recruited.
For the purposes of the first paragraph, the existence of one or more of the following circumstances constitutes an indication of exploitation:
1) the systematic remuneration of workers in a way that is manifestly different from national collective agreements or in any case disproportionate to the quantity and quality of the work performed;
2) the systematic violation of the regulations on working time, weekly rest, compulsory leave and holidays;
3) the existence of violations of the regulations on safety and hygiene in the workplace, such as to expose the worker to danger to health, safety or personal safety;
4) the submission of the worker to working conditions, surveillance methods, or particularly degrading housing situations.
These constitute a specific aggravating circumstance and entail an increase in the penalty from one third to half:
1) the fact that the number of workers recruited exceeds three;
2) the fact that one or more of the persons recruited are minors of non-working age;
3) the fact of having committed the offence by exposing the workers involved to situations of serious danger, having regard to the characteristics of the services to be performed and the working conditions
Article 13 of the Constitution of the Republic, which entered into force in 1948, states that personal freedom is “inviolable”, while article 35 provides that labour is protected in all its forms and applications.
According to the Italian Penal Code, the individual personality is deemed to have been violated either when a person is actually deprived of his own individuality or when, while retaining his individuality in the strictly legal sense, he is reduced “de facto” to a state of complete subjugation to the power of another. The offences of “reduction to slavery” and “holding a person in a state of subjugation (Plagio)” are typical examples covered in Italian law. The former offence, which cannot be committed in Italy since slavery is not sanctioned by law, consists in reducing a person to slavery or a similar state (article 600 of the Penal Code) and is punished, even when practised upon a consenting party, by imprisonment for five to fifteen years. The latter offence consists in subjecting a person to the power of another in such a way as to reduce him to a state of subjugation (article 603 of the Penal Code); in this case, as may be readily understood, a de facto state of slavery exists but the person’s legal status (status libertatis) remains unchanged. Here too, the penalty is imprisonment for five to fifteen years. Both provisions are applicable even when the act is committed abroad against an Italian citizen (article 604 of the Penal Code).
…recruitment for commercial purposes of and trading in slaves or persons in a state similar to slavery is suppressed (imprisonment for five to twenty years) (article 601). The Penal Code also covers the sporadic cases in which persons in a state of slavery or a similar state are transferred or disposed of, acquired or taken possession of, or maintained in a state of slavery or a similar state (article 602), but imposes less severe penalties for such offences (imprisonment for three to twelve years).
Art. 22. Employment and exploitation of illegally staying third-country nationals
(12) The employer that employs foreign workers lacking residence permit provided for by this article, or whose permit is expired and for which renewal was not applied within the terms of law, or revoked or annulled, is punished with imprisonment from six months to three years and with a 5.000 Euro fine for each worker hired.
(12 bis) The sentence for what provided for by paragraph 12 is increased from one third to half:
a) if the workers employed are more than three;
b) if the workers employed are minors not of working age;
c) if the workers employed are subject to other working conditions of particular exploitation as mentioned under the third paragraph of article 603-bis of the code of criminal procedure