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> MIGRANT Home > Good practices database - Labour migration policies and programmes > Italian National Action Plan to tackle labour exploitation, unlawful recruitment and forced labour in agriculture (2020 – 2022)

Italian National Action Plan to tackle labour exploitation, unlawful recruitment and forced labour in agriculture (2020 – 2022)


Following the adoption of Law No 199 (of 2016) on labour exploitation in agriculture, the Italian government has developed and implemented – in three components - a Nation Action Plan (NAP) in which fair recruitment is a key area of the broader labour exploitation response. The first focuses on the analysis of the causes and effects of labour exploitation and unlawful recruitment in agriculture. The second is centred on emergency interventions in the geographical areas most at risk of labour exploitation and unlawful recruitment , while the third component consists of the implementation of 10 priority actions to prevent and combat labour exploitation and unlawful recruitment, as well as protect and assist victims through a referral mechanism that leads to their socio-economic inclusion through decent work.

The labour intermediation related outputs include:
- Improved planning of agricultural labour force requirements, including the setting of seasonal migration flows of foreign workers;
- the analysis, with the contribution of the social partners, of the types of labour contracts available and their responsiveness to the requirements of the agricultural sector;
- Improved effectiveness, efficiency and equity of the employment services delivered by labour intermediaries (public and private) to agricultural workers and employers, including through an IT platform and mobile device Applications;
- Strengthened specialized services for workers in agriculture and mobile units to bring recruitment services in proximity of agricultural fields and displace “gangmasters”;
- Improved capacity of public institutions at national and regional levels to monitor the application of regulations on labour intermediation by private employment agencies.
- Cooperation between public employment services and licensed private employment service providers;
- An alliance between public and private providers of intermediation services that operates in line with the ILO’s fair recruitment principles and national legislation on labour intermediation;

Proof of impact/progress

Unlawful recruitment was included as part of a global approach to labour exploitation in a national law that combines prevention and remedial measures to tackle labour exploitation, including sanctions and remedies, as well as civil and penal liability of both recruiters and employers that employ workforce that was unlawfully recruited (Law 199/2016). The provisions of Law No. 199 have been operationalized through a National Action Plan that contains 10 priority actions and implementation mechanisms to protect workers from unlawful recruitment practices, with remedial action to victims where required. Although the number of sentenced cases by courts has significantly increased after Law 199/2016 entered into force, the impact of the practice in terms of protecting workers from unlawful and unfair recruitment should be confirmed through an evaluation.

Other promising features

Novelty / level of innovation

- A digital labour intermediation platform and telephone applications (Apps) to tackle unlawful recruitment;
- Provision of labour intermediation services in proximity of users (employment service staff go to the places of residence or work of agricultural workers rather that the other way round);
- Collaboration between countries of origin and of destination to prevent unlawful recruitment of migrant workers.


Fair recruitment as part of a global strategy to tackle labour exploitation and forced labour helps to catalyse the contribution of a wide number of actors and interventions.


The practice is sustainable as it derives from law and policy and is now implemented nation-wide by public institutions in collaboration with private providers and with funds set aside from the budgets of national institutions.


The inclusion of fair recruitment as key component of a broad strategy allows for the maximization of results with limited inputs, compared to the approaches that address fair recruitment as stand-alone issue.


last updated on 12.03.2021^ top