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The Italian Senate and Human Rights: The Committee against the Death Penalty and the Special Committee on Human Rights
Starting in 1996, the 13th Parliament of the Italian Senate has been conducting a specific activity concerning the protection of human rights. In the late 1990s this activity focused on the death penalty abolition. The Italian Senate created a Committee against the Death Penalty which helped promote the UN Resolution on the Death Penalty Moratorium, finally approved in 2007. The following Parliament established a Special Committee on Human Rights. In 2001-2006 the Special Committee conducted an intense activity on several issues, above all the death penalty moratorium, trafficking in human beings, children’s rights, discrimination against women. Delegations of senators visited Nigeria, Kosovo, Moldova, Zambia, Darfur, Uganda and Afghanistan. In 2003 the Human Rights Committee worked at a new law on the trafficking of human beings. Law no. 228/2003 is considered one of the most effective in the world. The 15th Parliament again established a Special Committee on Human Rights which could not actually work because of procedurerelated problems and of the early dissolution of Parliament. In 2008 a Special Committee on Human Rights was again established. In the period 2008-2013 the Committee has been particularly active in addressing critical situations concerning human rights in Italy. The Committee has worked on the 92 recommendations on Italy of the UN Human Rights Council’s universal periodic review. The Committee worked particularly on Roma integration, the treatment of migrants, human rights in Italian prisons, and produced a report on these issues. The Committee did not succeed in promoting a law including torture in national legislation and establishing a national Human Rights Institution.