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 exerts on any other person powers and rights corresponding to ownership; places or holds any other person in conditions of continuing enslavement, sexually exploiting such person, imposing coerced labour or forcing said person into begging, or exploiting him/her in any other way, shall be punished with imprisonment from eight to twenty years. Placement or maintenance in a position of slavery occur when use is maid of violence, threat, deceit, or abuse of power; or when anyone takes advantage of a situation of physical or mental inferiority and poverty; or when money is promised, payments are made or other kinds of benefits are promised to those who are responsible for the person in question. 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 slaves.
Whoever, 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 purposesItaly Penal Code Amendment 2003
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).