Migrant Sicily Newsletter, October 2017
- The Italian Political Deficit: Oppression and Exploitation in Seasonal Work
- New and More Isolated Extraordinary Reception Centres
- The Security Policies that Compromise the Protection of Migrants
- Institutional Discrimination in the Exercising of Rights and Access to Services
- News: The EU Confirms the Creation of a Hotspot at Messina; Doctors for Human Rights Presents an Online Map of Migrant Routes
- Events: OpenEurope Presents a Series of Multi-Disciplinary Courses for Workers in the Reception System in Messina and Syracuse
- Info and Contacts
THE ITALIAN POLITICAL DEFICIT: OPPRESSION AND EXPLOITATION IN SEASONAL WORK
Many people have arrived for the olive harvest in Western Sicily, in the hope of finding work. The results are almost always something else entirely: many live in informal, make-shift camps such as that at Erbe Bianche (in the province of Trapani). They are easily exploited due to their irregular juridical status and frequently the work is performed by people resident in the asylum seeker hostels in the surrounding aream who will settle for a lower wage as their bed and board is already guaranteed. Such spaces, entirely deprived of protection for workers’ rights, give rise to a generalised degradation of living conditions.
NEW AND MORE ISOLATED EXTRAORDINARY RECEPTION CENTRES
New Extraordinary Reception Centres are springing up in the peripheral areas of Sicily, far from inhabited centres, such as those opened in the Madonia mountain range, where migrants are completely cut off from the social fabric, creating a physical and psychological isolation for the residents. Together with the long bureaucratic waiting times and the lack of adequate professional figures, this is pushing many migrants to leave the centres where they receive material assistance but otherwise receive little care or protection. This is a form of mismanagement which creates an “invisible” population of people who live on the street and become prey for traffickers and exploitative labour.http://migrantsicily.blogspot.fr/2017/10/ever-more-isolated-and-alone.html
THE SECURITY POLICIES THAT COMPROMISE THE PROTECTION OF MIGRANTS
The adoption of immigration policies formed in the mold of a security logic have a negative first and foremost on the rights of migrants, inhibiting their rights to protection and amplifying their vulnerability. The formula for managing and controlling the flow of migrants – the blockade on departures and the increase in the number of deportations – is creating more death despite the reduction in the number of arrivals, while the “invisibles” (those who have left the reception system, are expelled or rejected) can only find support from organisations (NGOs, volunteers, churches) working tirelessly across the region. The dynamics of abandonment were seen yet again even in Palermo on October 13th following the landing of the SOS Mediterranee, dubbed the “children landing”. European policies are ignoring the necessity to give attention to the needs and fragility of migrants present here, including as a real response to security needs.
INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE EXERCISING OF RIGHTS AND ACCESS TO SERVICES
The immigration advice centre in Caltanissetta critically reports the extremely slow pace of bureaucracy for renewing permits to stay, in some cases resulting in a form of discrimination between Italians and foreign citizens. Even is according to Italian law it is possible for one to exercise full rights while awaiting the renewal of a permit to stay, in practice this is not guaranteed in many offices governing access to services: enrolling in the national health system, registering a work contract or a housing contract. The criticism from the centre in Caltanissetta reflects the countless exclusions which are damaging migrants across Sicily.
NEWS: THE EU CONFIRMS THE CREATION OF A HOTSPOT AT MESSINA; DOCTORS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PRESENTS AN ONLINE MAP OF MIGRANT ROUTES
After months of institutional silence, it has been confirmed by the website of the European Agency for Human Rights that the Hotspot approach will be adopted for the new structure at the former “Gasparro” barracks in Bisconte (province of Messina), in line with the aims of the Gentiloni-Minniti immigration plan.
ESODI/EXODI is the new interactive map of migrant routes from Sub-Saharan countries towards Europe, produced by Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU) drawing on 2,600 accounts gathered over four years. The tool recounts migrants’ journies and sheds light on an increasingly critical situation of violation and abuse in Libya.
EVENTS: OPENEUROPE PRESENTS A SERIES OF MULTI-DISCIPLINARY COURSES FOR WORKERS IN THE RECEPTION SYSTEM IN MESSINA AND SYRACUSE
Two educational, multi-disciplinary courses will start from October onward, for workers in the reception centre. The courses will provided an educational opportunity to nurture knowledge among staff in the sector and build capacity to respond to specific needs within a wholistic approach. The organisations involved in the event in Messina, designed for workers in reception centres for adults, are Oxfam Italia, Borderline Sicilia and Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU). The training course in Syracusa, designed for workers in centres for foreign minors, will involve Accoglierete, Oxfam Italia, the cooperative “Proxima”, the provincial health authority of Catania (ASP) and the professional association of psychologists.
INFORMATION AND CONTACTS
For information on how to donate to Borderline Sicilia Onlus – Banca Etica Popolare di Palermo Agenzia di Via Catania, 24 IBAN IT 28 Q 0501804600000000141148 Codice BIC CCRTIT2T84A – and for updates on the current situation of migration in Sicily see the blog:
www.siciliamigranti.blogspot.com or follow our Facebook page:
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Translation by Richard Braude