The residence permit for
third-country nationals who are
victims of human trafcking
A double-face instrument between compliance
strategy and protection of human rights
Department of Political Science and International Relationships,
University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Purpose –The aim of the present study is to explore institutional design strategies that promote compliance
by regulating peculiar sorts of agents, namely, human trafcking victims, starting from the point of view that
institutions assume addressee virtue, but instead should consider the hypothesis of non-compliance or that the
measures adopted reveal their inefciency to satisfy the goals they were thought for, or that they are applied
to obtain scopes, which are different from the ones they were conceived for.
Design/methodology/approach –Different methodological approaches, both deductive and inductive,
are combined in the present paper, together with comparative and philosophical insights on national court
decisions, scholarly writings, national and international entities’ ofcial reports and statistics.
Findings –Because EU member states’ experts are discussing about common guidelines, policies and
standards to manage migration uxes and EU integration process, this study highlights some critical points
arising from the specic condition of a peculiar human trafcking victim: a migrant.
Originality/value –The study offers insights into the possible answers in terms of awarding prize to and
humanitarian protection of victims to ght human trafcking and smuggling in a constructive way,
emphasising that these instruments (awarding and humanitarian) are not mutually exclusive and can be
Keywords Human trafcking, Compliance, Social inclusion, Migration studies,
Residence permit for social protection
Paper type Research paper
In its rst part, the present study offers an overview of some legislative interventions
concerning the ght against human trafcking and, in particular, on the protection of victims
through instruments such as special residence permits for those victims who cooperate with
public authorities or for those who start social protection programmes. Going behind any
rhetorical argument, the analysis will involve the main international (Convention), European
(Directives) and Italian (Statutes) legislation pieces, which represent the legal framework of
reference, where different actors, both public and private entities, such as the judiciary, the
investigation bodies, NGOs and social services act in interpreting and applying such rules.
In the nal part of the study, the result, given by the premises, is that the “living rules” (the
actually applied ones) sometimes are far from the ones contained in the statute law text, and
this can be explained with a compliance approach and partly by the human rights protection
adopted – expressly or not – by the other actors involved.
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Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.24 No. 2, 2017
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