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INVERT Project Takes Crucial Next Steps in Combating Labour Trafficking

By April 18, 2024April 22nd, 2024News, Top Story

Dylan Power

18 April 2024

The INVERT project has taken vital next steps in achieving its goals. Aiming to combat the use of legal companies by labour traffickers to exploit victims, INVERT assists EU prosecutor offices, law enforcement agencies (LEAs), and judicial authorities in identifying and disrupting the trafficking chain.

Launched in June 2023, the project is progressing and approaching the first year of implementation. Led by UCSC-Transcrime, the consortium is made up of representatives from prosecutors’ offices (Procura della Repubblica di Palermo), a law enforcement agency (Arma dei Carabinieri – Comando per la Tutela del Lavoro), research centres (OKRI, OSDIFE), and NGOs (Victim Support Europe).

Productive steps have been taken to develop a prototype of two risk assessment tools to identify potential victims and detect companies who may be involved in exploitative activities.

Firstly, a legal and ethical compliance report has been produced. UCSC-Transcrime and VSE set out detailed guidelines for trustworthy research practices, and laid foundation for the collection, storage, and distribution of data to be implemented by consortium partners, in accordance with European Commission standards.

Secondly, INVERT partners have identified risk factors and indicators through three main steps:

  • Preliminary assessment: Arma dei Carabinieri – Comando per la Tutela del Lavoro (CCTL) organized an online workshop in November 2023 to illustrate the most relevant features of labour trafficking identified by past national and international criminal investigations.
  • Structured data collection: A questionnaire prepared by CCTL was shared with partners and external stakeholders between November 2023 and January 2024, where they were asked to assess the relevance of each risk factor in their domain of operation and suggest additional risk factors to include based on their experience and expertise.
  • Desk research and consolidation: The findings from the first two steps formed the starting point of analysis, followed by extensive literature review to collect relevant information emerging from academic sources, national and international institutions, and past EU projects on human trafficking.

Following this operationalisation process, an INVERT list of risk indicators of labor exploitation at both company and victim level have been obtained and will be included in the two INVERT risk assessment tools.

After the development of these pivotal risk assessment prototypes, partners kicked-off discussions regarding the development of training modules on labour trafficking features as well as a training programme for investigations.

Finally, INVERT project has been presented on 21st March 2024 at the conference “Le dinamiche delle infiltrazioni criminali nell’economia: rischi e rimedi” held at the Università Cattolica. With 32 key speakers on the subject of criminal infiltration of the economy in Italy attending the event, UCSC-Transcrime presented the applications of the risk indicators developed by Transcrime throughout the project thus far. INVERT was also included in two press releases that the University Press Office publicized in the media.

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