UN Human Rights Council
THE UPR WORKING GROUP SIXTH SESSION
Report of the UPR Working Group on Italy
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by John C. Mariz
The United States warmly welcomes His Excellency Vincenzo Scotti and the entire Italian delegation to the Working Group of the UPR. We commend Italy for the comprehensive nature of its national report and presentation today. We have carefully reviewed Italy’s national report and offer the following comment and recommendations.
The United States believes that governments have a special responsibility to ensure that minority communities have the tools of opportunity that they need to succeed as productive and responsible members of society. We recommend that Italy continue working to end intolerance and societal discrimination against Roma, and in this regard, ensure that police and local authorities are trained to respond appropriately to allegations of crimes involving Roma, and avoid inappropriate ethnic profiling. We join the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Roma Rights Center in expressing concern that the current census of the country’s Roma and Sinti inhabitants – which has included the systematic photographing and fingerprinting of children – singles out members of these groups, and may serve to perpetuate social stigmatization.
The United States recommends that Italy increase its efforts to reach out to and ensure the rights of members of minorities, particularly Italy’s Romani community. The May 2008 mob violence against Roma in Naples and elsewhere was deeply disturbing, and we appreciate the efforts of local and national authorities to protect Roma and prosecute those responsible. Italy has a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, and we recommend that Italy employ that law to ensure that Roma enjoy equal access to employment, education, and health care.
The United States remains concerned that Italy continues to be a destination and transit country for women, children, and men trafficked internationally for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. We recommend that Italy increase outreach and identification efforts to women and children in prostitution to ensure that trafficking victims are identified, provided care, and not penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; proactively identify potential trafficking victims among Italy’s undocumented immigrants; continue to investigate and prosecute allegations of trafficking-related complicity; and expand public awareness campaigns aimed at reducing domestic demand for commercial sex acts.