Prior to the security decree, the Italian law provided for a residual form of international protection that could be granted for humanitarian reasons to those non-eligible for refugee status nor subsidiary protection. The residence permit for humanitarian reasons was issued by local authorities, the Questura, after consulting the Territorial Commission for the Recognition of International Protection on the existence of “serious grounds” of humanitarian nature, i.e. health reasons, age, famine, human-induced environmental threats or natural disasters, and political instability, episodes of violence or lack of family strings in the country of origin.
The humanitarian protection had a two-year duration, and it could be renewed as well as converted in a residence permit for work purposes. This is also valid for those applicants who were granted humanitarian protection before the Security Decree.
Indeed, the recent Security Decree, converted into Law 132/2018, removed this form of protection replacing it with the residence permit for “special protection”.
Remarkably, with the decision n. 4890/2019, the Supreme Court of Cassation established that, regarding the asylum application submitted before the 5th of October 2018, the Territorial Commission shall still evaluate whether the humanitarian protection may apply.