'Thousands of underage refugees risk exploitation in Italy'

Save the Children says trend is growing

'Thousands of underage refugees risk exploitation in Italy'

(ANSA) - Rome, August 21 - There are thousands of unaccompanied underage refugees in Italy who have become victims of human trafficking and exploitation, according to a report released Tuesday by Save the Children Italy, in what the group says is becoming a growing trend in the G8 nation. The phenomenon is on the rise also due to a constant and unstoppable flow of underage refugees arriving on Italian shores, the report says. This group is particularly at risk of exploitation, according to a report called Small Invisible Slaves of 2012. There are millions of similar victims around the globe, the association added in its report. Save the Children Italy issued the study two days after UNESCO held a day of remembrance of the slave trade and its abolition, the anniversary of which is August 23. The number of underage victims of human trafficking total 1.2 million in the world, though the total increases to 5.5 million when factoring in sexual or work-related exploitation. The group says it estimates that there are as many as 2,000 underage prostitutes in Italy today, mainly the result of the practise of human trafficking and exploitation it identified.

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