Letizia Palumbo

Research Fellow
Letizia Palumbo is a Research Fellow at MPC and is currently coordinating a research project funded by Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI) on working conditions of migrant workers in the agricultural sector in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
From 2014 to 2019 she was a Research Associate at the Global Governance Programme, taking part in several projects concerning trafficking and exploitation of migrant workers, in sectors such as agriculture and domestic work. In 2018-2019, she participated in a project, funded by the OSEPI on the factors underlying the demand for irregular employment of migrant workers in Italian agriculture, often leading to exploitation. In 2015-2016 she was the main researcher on the project “Trafficking for Labour Exploitation: Assessing Anti-trafficking Interventions in Italy”, co-funded by the Open Society Foundations. In 2014-2015 she participated as national expert on trafficking in the study “Demand-side of Trafficking in Persons in the Domestic Work Sector”, part of the project “Addressing Demand in Anti-Trafficking Efforts and Policies (DemandAT)” (FP7 European Commission funded project).
She was Post-Doctoral Researcher in Comparative Law at the University of Palermo (2013-2017) and she has been Adjunct Professor also at the University of Palermo, teaching “Urban and Migration Policies” (in 2019), “Human Rights and International Justice” (in 2017) and Women’s Rights” (in 2014).
She holds a PhD in Human Rights from the University of Palermo. Her research interests include human trafficking, gender and migration, labour exploitation and human rights. Her current research focuses on trafficking and labour exploitation in the agricultural and domestic work sectors in the EU, in particular in Italy. She also serves as a consultant and trainer on this subject.
Journal articles
  • L. Palumbo (2017)‘Exploiting for Care: Trafficking and Abuse in domestic work in Italy’, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, Special Issue on Human Trafficking in the domestic work sector in the EU: a special case or a learning ground for the anti-trafficking field, 15(2): 171-186.
  • L. Palumbo (2015), ‘‘Protection of Trafficked People in Italy: Policies, Limits and Challenges’ Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 18 Iss: 1, pp.52 – 65.
  •  L. Palumbo & A. Sciurba (2015), ‘Vulnerability to Forced Labour and Trafficking: The case of Romanian women in the agricultural sector in Sicily’, Anti-trafficking Review, issue 5.
  • L. Palumbo (2014), Labour Exploitation and Trafficking in the Agricultural Sector. Reflections on the (In)efficacy of Anti-trafficking interventions in Italy’, The Cardozo Electronic Law Bullettin.
  • L. Palumbo (2013), Special issue of Ragion Pratica on ‘Ius Migrandi’ (‘the Right to Migrate’), December  2013.
  • L. Palumbo (2013), ‘Presentazione. Ius migrandi: Concetti e limiti’ (‘Introduction. The Right to Migrate: Concepts and Limits), Ragion Pratica, December 2013, pp. 1-8.     

  • Book chapters
  • L. Palumbo (forthcoming), Tratta di esseri umani e sfruttamento lavorativo in agricoltura: Il caso dei «boschetari» nelle serre del Ragusano, in S. Greco, & Tumminelli G (a cura di), Osservatorio Migrazioni, Centro Arrupe.
  • L. Palumbo (2019) Care for People with Disabilities in Italy: A Critical Analysis of Act  112/2016 on Assistance for People with Serious Disabilities Lacking  Family Support ’ in C. Rogerson, J. Miles, P. Parkinson, and M. Antoskolskaia (eds), Family Law and Family Realities, Eleven International Publishing.
  • A. Busetta, D. Mendola and L. Palumbo (2018) “Le Badanti. I numeri, il regime giuridico e le condizioni lavorative” in S. Greco, & Tumminelli G (a cura di), Migrazioni in Sicilia 2017, Milano, Unidine: Mimesis Edizioni.
  • L. Palumbo (2017), ‘The Borders of Legal Motherhood: Rethinking Access to Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Europe’ in Y. Ergas, J. Jenson and S. Michel (Eds.), Bodies and Borders: Negotiating Motherhood in the 21st Century, NY, Columbia University Press.
  • L. Palumbo (2011), Which approach to Sex-Trafficking? Revisiting Feminist Debates on Sex-Trafficking in Europe’, in F. Balsamo (Ed.), WWW - World Wide Women, Globalizzazione, Generi, Linguaggi, vol. 2, Torino: CIRSDe - Centro Interdisciplinare di Ricerche e Studi delle Donne Università degli Studi di Torino, pp. 145-154,

  • Research and policy reports 
  • A. Corrado & L. Palumbo (Eds.) (forthcoming), Are agri-food workers only exploited in Southern Europe? Case studies on migrant labour in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, Open Society Foundations.
  • A. Corrado, F. Caruso, M. Nori, M. Lo Cascio, L. Palumbo, A. Triandafyllidou (2018), Migrazioni e lavoro agricolo in Italia: le ragioni di una relazione problematica, Open Society European Policy Institute Publisher.  https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/uploads/b6ead456-1d7e-443e-b066-8f0e70a6f1be/is-italian-agriculture-a-pull-factor-for-irregular-migration-report-it-20181205.pdf   A. Corrado, F. Caruso, M. Nori, M. Lo Cascio, L. Palumbo, A. Triandafyllidou (2018), Is Italian Agriculture a ‘pull factor’ for irregular migration – and, if so, why?, Open Society European Policy Institute Publisher.     https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/uploads/ba12312d-31f1-4e29-82bf-7d8c41df48ad/is-italian-agriculture-a-pull-factor-for-irregular-migration-20181205.pdf 
  • A. Corrado, F. Caruso, M. Nori, M. Lo Cascio, L. Palumbo, A. Triandafyllidou (2018), Is Italian Agriculture a ‘pull factor’ for irregular migration – and, if so, why?, Open Society European Policy Institute Publisher, Policy Brief,  https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/uploads/1f32cb97-c6ba-4c88-8339-180bd2d216d8/is-italian-agriculture-a-pull-factor-for-irregular-migration-policy-brief-20181206.pdf 
  • L. Palumbo & A. Sciurba (2018), ‘The vulnerability to exploitation of women migrant workers in   agriculture in the EU: The need for a human rights and gender based approach’, Study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs.  https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/604966/IPOL_STU%282018%29604966_EN.pdf 
  • L. Palumbo (2016), Trafficking and Labour Exploitation in Domestic Work and the Agricultural Sector  in Italy, RSCAS   Research project report, European University Institute.  https://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/42406                    
  • L. Palumbo (2016), Grave sfruttamento e tratta nel lavoro domestico e in agricoltura in Italia: un’analisi critica degli strumenti di contrasto, prevenzione e tutela delle vittime’ RSCAS Research project report, European University Institute.  https://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/42405 
  • L. Palumbo (2016), Grave sfruttamento in agricoltura e nel lavoro domestico in Italia. I limiti della normativa e delle politiche: alcune proposte di intervento’, RSCAS Research project report, European University Institute, Policy brief,  https://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/42084
  • L. Palumbo (2016), Demand in the context of THB in the domestic work sector in Italy, DemandAT Country Study No. 5.  https://www.demandat.eu/sites/default/files/DemandAT_CountryStudies_5_Italy_Palumbo.pdf 
  • L. Palumbo (2016), Exploited for Care: Abuse and Trafficking in Domestic Work in Italy, Policy Brief.  https://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/41935 

  • Blog posts
  • L. Palumbo (2018), La necesidad de un enfoque de género para abordar la explotación y la trata de personasOpenDemocracy,   https://www.opendemocracy.net/es/la-necesidad-de-un-enfoque-de-g-nero-para-abordar-la-explotaci-n-y-la-/ 
  • L. Palumbo & A. Triandafyllidou (2016) ‘Addressing severe exploitation: a critical view of awareness and transparency initiatives’, Special issue on the blog Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, OpenDemocracy.   https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/addressing-severe-exploitation-critical-view-of-awareness-and-transpar/ 
  • L. Palumbo (2016), ‘Why Show Your Cards? The Problem of Transparency in Agricultural Supply Chains’, OpenDemocracy.           https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/why-show-your-cards-problem-of-transparency-in-agricultural-supply-cha/ 
  • L. Palumbo (2016), Gender Exploitation in the agricultural sector’, EUI Times, Winter, pp. 21-22.  https://times.eui.eu/gender-exploitation-in-the-agricultural-secto.html 
  • L. Palumbo (2015), The need for a gendered approach to exploitation and trafficking’, OpenDemocracyhttps://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/need-for-gendered-approach-to-exploitation-and-trafficking/ 
  • L. Palumbo & A. Sciurba (2015), ‘New mobility regimes, new forms of exploitation in Sicily’, OpenDemocracyhttps://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/new-mobility-regimes-new-forms-of-exploitation-in-s/ 
  • L. Palumbo & S. Romano (2014), ‘La Corte dei diritti dell’uomo, un po’ meno delle donne’, Ingenere.  https://www.ingenere.it/articoli/la-corte-dei-diritti-delluomo-un-po-meno-delle-donne 
  • L. Palumbo (2009), ‘Another Step Backwards For Women’s Rights in Italy’, Columbia University Gender & Sexuality Law Blog, November.  http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/genderandsexualitylawblog/2009/11/05/another-step-backwards-for-women’s-rights-in-italy/