The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, released the following declaration:
«On 2 December 1949, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 'Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others'. The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, which significantly celebrates the anniversary of that historical resolution, reminds us of the need, now as in the past, to struggle to eradicate all forms of slavery.
Despite the progress made in the last decades in the protection of human rights and of the fundamental liberties in the world, traditional slavery is a phenomenon that we have not yet succeeded to eradicate completely. Only a few days ago, the brutal images of migrants being auctioned on the basis of a 'value' that equates them to merchandise, reminded us of the extent to which this phenomenon, which denies the very roots of human dignity, is still widespread.
Other forms of slavery have added on to the traditional forms, and they are almost always associated to the trafficking of migrants. Situations of conflict, poverty, and fleeing from territories struck by natural disasters, constitute fertile ground for the spread of phenomena such as sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage and recruiting children for armed conflicts.
The celebration of 2 December reminds the international community and every one of us that slavery, in all its forms, is an aberration that cannot be tolerated. The necessary reaction cannot only be entrusted to Governments - whose commitment is nonetheless essential - but must also be accompanied by a common effort by civil society, the private sector, the media world and by every one of us.
In this spirit, Italy solemnly reaffirms its convinced commitment against any form of slavery. »
Rome, 2 December 2017