(ANSA) - Rome, August 22 - Italy had the highest number of
victims of human trafficking and exploitation in all of Europe
in 2010, according to a study released Thursday by Save the
Of a total 9,500 cases reported in Europe, some 2,400 were
in Italy, the NGO said in its 2013 report 'The Small Invisible
Slaves', issued on the eve of the International Day for the
Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.
"It involves adults but also a large number of adolescents
and children," said Raffaela Milano, Italy-Europe program
director for Save the Children.
Children from eastern Europe, Nigeria and Egypt ranked
highest among groups most exploited as sex workers, beggars, or
other types of illegal workers.
By Save the Children's estimate, there are 20.9 million
victims of forced labor in the world.
The sector has not shown signs of slowing down amid the
global economic crisis, the group said, with criminal and mafia
organizations reaping billions of dollars often reinvested in
weapons and drugs.
The trade only appears to be growing in Italy and the rest
of Europe, Save the Children said.