The Italian Republic is a multiparty parliamentary democracy with a bicameral parliament consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The constitution vests executive authority in the Council of Ministers, headed by a prime minister whose official title is President of the Council of Ministers. The President of the Republic, who is the head of state, nominates the prime minister after consulting with political party leaders in parliament. International observers considered the national parliamentary elections in 2013 to be free and fair.
Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.
As of December 7, more than 175,100 migrants and refugees had arrived in the country during the year, more than the previous peak in 2014. The continued elevated flow of migrants and refugees into the country overwhelmed the government’s capability to host asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors. Migrants and refugees lived in often inadequate or substandard shelters for extended periods and were vulnerable to forced labor and other abuses; unaccompanied minors were particularly at risk. Corruption remained a significant problem.
Other human rights problems included excessive and abusive police use of force, prison overcrowding and incarceration of pretrial detainees with convicted criminals, substandard prisons, the slow pace of justice, abuse of libel laws to stifle criticism of public officials, domestic violence, cases of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), abuse of children, child pornography, and anti-Semitic hate speech online. Persons were subjected to both labor and sex trafficking. Societal prejudice and municipal government policies resulted in the mistreatment of minorities, including Roma, exacerbating their social exclusion and restricting access to education, health care, employment, and other social services. Observers also reported cases of violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons. Forced labor, labor exploitation, and child labor were problems, especially prevalent in the service sector and agriculture. There was employment discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The government investigated, prosecuted, and punished officials who committed crimes and abuses whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government. Impunity sometimes existed.