“More Than One Million Pains”: Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys on the Central Mediterranean Route to Italy

Every year since 2014, tens of thousands of refugees and migrants have traveled the central Mediterranean route to Italy, one of the most active and dangerous migration passageways in the world. Along the way, many experience kidnapping, exploitation, extortion, and enslavement. Large numbers die in the desert, are confined to hellish detention centers in Libya, or drown at sea. Litle is known about the men and boys who undertake this journey. These knowledge gaps are of concern, given that an estimated 87.5 percent of refugees and migrants who have entered Italy via the central Mediterranean route since 2016 are men and boys, the latter of whom are largely unaccompanied.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Article 68)

Protection of the victims and witnesses and their participation in the proceedings
1. The Court shall take appropriate measures to protect the safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity and privacy of victims and witnesses. In so doing, the Court shall have regard to all relevant factors, including age, gender as defined in article 7, paragraph 3, and health, and the nature of the crime, in particular, but not limited to, where the crime involves sexual or gender violence or violence against children.

VI.TO- Hospitality and Care for Victims of Torture, Italian Council for Refugees (CIR)

The primary objectives of VI.TO are:
*The early identification of torture survivors.
*Awareness-raising and training of staff at the national health service and other organisations on torture issues.
*Medical, psychological, legal and social assistance during the asylum-seeking process and once refugee status has been granted. Focus is on avoiding re-traumatisation and providing adequate care.

NAGA, Centro Har Per Rifugiati E Vittime Della Torture

The primary objectives are to support refugees and torture survivors before and after they have obtained political asylum in Italy, and highlight refugees´ problems and their right to public opinion (available in Italian).