– Hotspot, rejections and deportations: Further infringements and illegal methods in Italy
– Worrying about the ones arriving and commemorating those who have not survived the escape
– Establishing a life in Italy: the best practices of some centres in the province of Ragusa
– Exploiting migrants are an open secret. The case of the camp in the town of Campobello di Mazara
– News and events: the ‘Roadmap’ is coming and the right to asylum is utopian
HOTSPOT, BACK TRANSFERS AND DEPORTATIONS: OTHER INFRINGEMENTS AND UNLAWFUL PROCEDURES IN ITALY
Italy is neglecting the right of asylum to meet the European requirements. In Pozzallo MSF* publicly denounces what happens to the migrants during and after their arrival also in a report for the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission on Reception Issues. The lack of legal information and adequate support for asylum seekers, the use of deception to obtain fingerprints: These are just some of the clues that arouse the suspicion that provisional arrest is introduced insidiously, without judicial review and in violation of the fundamental rights of migrants who are not immediately deported, but held in an unworthy place. Also the condition of the centre in Pozzallo is far from the minimum standards: It is an unacceptable condition that requires an urgent and structured intervention.
The illegality of some procedures affects partly vulnerable unaccompanied minors that are registered incorrectly as of full age upon arrival and therefore rejected at a later date. The lack of information exchange before the police screening and the fate of young people who have suffered serious acts of violence rests in the hands of a few stubborn lawyers and activists has also been denounced by the UNHCR and Save The Children.
But the insolence goes even further: The Italian government seeks to ensure the European interests ahead of human rights and participates implicitly in the handling of an initial reception that prioritises economic factors. More and more asylum seekers get a deportation reprimand following the rejection of the application for international protection by the prefecture of Agrigento. This is an illegal procedure against migrants who have the right to appeal against the rejection since they are still considered as asylum seekers with the right to be sheltered, but are sent to the streets instead where they are completely defenceless against exploitation. In a press release, Borderline Sicilia calls for a meeting with the relevant prefectures concerning the new procedures that have their origins in the policies of the new Road Map of the Interior Ministry.
CONCERNS ABOUT THOSE ARRIVING AND COMMEMORATION OF THOSE WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT
Further hundreds of migrants arrive in Sicily and every time there are concerns about illegal procedures applied against them. There are also concerns about accommodation might be unfit for human beings. It even goes so far that there is doubt whether it is possible to apply for protection, legal advice and assistance at all. The uncertainty regarding the treatment of migrants, who are to be distributed to other countries, still dominates.
With each arrival alleged human traffickers are being arrested and the media reports greatly about this fact, much more than about the disastrous situation in the countries of origin of migrants. These people are listed only as a number in the statistics and are not perceived as people with a history. These refugees are asked who has driven the boat in which they arrived. These “smugglers” are men and young people who have experienced violence like other migrants.
The situation in many reception centres is intolerable for the migrants, partly because they cannot communicate. In many centres, the services are reduced to a minimum and the migrants are left to themselves: In such a situation the wait for the papers is unbearable. A new approach, characterized by respect and the desire to get to know the opposite could make the difference, although the bureaucratic hurdles remain the central problem. See examples of the Centre in Canicattini and S. Giuseppe Iato in the province of Palermo.
The group consisting of Christians, Jews and Muslims meeting at the Palermo Cemetery Rotoli to honour the deceased migrants with a prayer reiterates how important it is to combat indifference and to report on individual fates. The respect towards life and the rights of every human call for the opening of humanitarian channels and the demand for the right to decent accommodation at the arrival ports and in the face of death gets stronger.
EXISTENCE CONSTRUCTION IN ITALY: THE PROVEN PRACTICES OF CERTAIN CENTRES IN THE PROVINCE OF RAGUSA
The fact that accommodating refugees is handled as an emergency case has lead to the fact that the word accommodation has lost its meaning. Those people who reach Italy have not only the right to a dignified support but also the right to think of their own future as a free and autonomous citizen of the new host country. Fortunately, there are some centres where the concept of inclusion is realised in the best sense and is not only a written goal. An example for this is the highly specialised centre for unaccompanied minors in Ragusa. There, the employees try to optimise the given services and especially to keep an eye on the well-being of their inhabitants without leaving them alone after their arrival. Even in the extraordinary reception centre for women and men, Villa Tedeschi in Modica, the countless difficulties, caused by the slowness of bureaucracy, the expectations and the lack of understanding must be defied. In Villa Tedeschi, they try to draw a lot of attention to the development of local networks, to the moments of sympathy and to cohabitation. This helps the migrants to take their lives into their own hands; in small steps but in order to establish important relationships that facilitate integration.
EXPLOITING IS AN OPEN SECRET. THE CASE OF THE CAMP IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF CAMPOBELLO DI MAZARA
It seems migrants in Italy are only welcome if they use their arms to work. They are indispensable as workers for economic profit of so many. The same happens in the small community of Campobello di Mazara where the migrants help with the olive harvest. It has been accepted tacitly for more than ten years by politicians and landowners. They all tolerate the exploitation of hundreds of migrants who cannot get any other work and are also desperate and susceptible to blackmailing. In the camp next to the fields we encounter solidary citizens who campaign with great effort that the conditions remain adequate. They sensitise the workers in terms of exploitation and its contractual power. We also meet migrants of which we never have believed to find here.
NEWS AND EVENTS: THE ROAD MAP IS COMING AND THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM WILL BE UTOPIA
By signing the Road Map, Italy begins to perform the immigration agreements which have been concluded with Europe: the expansion of agreements with African countries, including Nigeria and Gambia, the presence of consular staff during identification phases, the return to their home countries and the relocation to the identification and detention centres. These are just some points of the agreement but one can already guess the non-documented rise in deportations. In contrast, the number of asylum-denials multiplies and hearing before the Commission is handled more and more with less care for those who manage to stay on Italian territory and seek asylum.
You can find more info in Italian for the new Road Map: http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/ministry_of_interior_roadmap_for_relocation.pdf
Posted by Borderline Sicilia
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*MSF: Médecins sans Frontières is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation.
Translation by Aylin Satmaz