Women in Italy forced into sexual slavery, Marie Claire Australia

It's funny what you see and what you don't

I like to think of myself as an Italian royalty, even if I don't officially have Italian heritageI am convinced that my ability to consume an extreme amount of pasta is definitely due to the Italian gene somewhere. And if not biological, then spiritual: Italy won my heart as a teenager. When I was lucky enough to go to Mantua for an exchange school. My wonderful Italian teacher, Mr Proskiutto (or Mr Proskiutto as we called him), was dragged halfway around the world with seven Australian teenagers who were quite excited about the prospect of a white Christmas and relaxed about the legal drinking age laws.

My organic life-changing Scam.

I lived with wonderfully affable parents who loved me like the daughter I never had. My receiving brother turned me around the way his brother always wanted me to. And the kitchen welcomed me as a local who had generously donated pounds into my life for several weeks. Macaroni and more have lured me back to Italy more than a dozen times since. But on the return of a reporter for SBS Dateline, I encountered a part of the country that I had never seen or heard of before. When I came to Italy earlier, I saw a country with a deep history, cheap boredom, and an obsession with food and fashion. We went to Asti in Northern Italy to document the women who were forced into sexual slavery in this first country in the world. The seemingly idyllic tourist heart that I liked is actually a global hub for sex work.

Nigerian women from bitterly poor communities who were trafficked to Libya, and then by boat to Italy.

I was shocked by how young they were

They are promised jobs as hairdressers and nannies, but upon arrival they are sold as sex slaves. A pimp and a huge debt. While we were shooting Dateline, I met dozens and dozens of victims of human trafficking. And like young girls all over the world, they are self-obsessed, gossiping about who they are Dating, and making sure they have enough SMS credits for their friends. I didn't know modern slavery sounded like Tessie - she's hilarious, dreams of becoming a Hollywood actor, and wants to meet someone who loves her for who she is. She looks like a beauty who can walk on the Prada or Gucci catwalk in another world. She is a boisterous and loyal friend. Slavery in Italy is like Regina (not her real name) - quiet and shy.

Barely years later, I kept thinking about how thin it was, almost skeletal.

Later I found out that it was months of pregnancy. These women and girls live and work all over Italy in front of the public everyone. They are raped, beaten and years put on the street for five or euromagnet europastry shots. It's a terrible existence - I was in tears when I heard their stories. If you ever go to Italy, look around you.

On the edge of the road and highway, you can see women and girls walking back and forth and sometimes trying to wave.

Imagine the entire population of Ballina going into exile in Italy for sexual slavery. So many women are enslaved in Italy every year.

He was never seen again.

One night, during the shooting, around midnight, stranger things happened. We noticed that several minibuses seemed to follow us wherever we went. Then we noticed that another car had stopped by accident. I started writing down the number of numbers on the track in case there were things I couldn't imagine. The next day, the locals said I was stupid and put us in danger. We were told that the mafia is alive and well here. Human trafficking is the fastest growing world of criminal enterprise. It generates billions of dollars of illegal profit (AUD) every year, so it is difficult to stop it. It is obvious that the Pope is also looking and searching for the police, although, according to them, they can do little. Despite the Catholic culture, prostitution is legal in Italy. It is said that women's slavery is cursed or that their families return to Nigeria damaged if they dare to flee. Therefore, arrests and trials are rare. But some make him pluck up the courage to leave and risk the wrath of the pimp or the lady who"owns"it. The one who escaped told me that if you were ever found - and that was easy:"They're trying to kill me."Despite the fact that they live in shelters, are protected, even today many of us are not allowed on Facebook or social media for security reasons, after everything I have had, I am naively convinced that he hates Bella Italia and that belong to them. I am indebted to Italy for allowing me to live away from the poverty of Nigeria and now, blessedly, from the horror of Italian streets. Maggie Palmer is a reporter for SBS Dateline.

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