1.Riace: migrants could be moved out, integration model at risk
The Riace model needs to come to an end. This is in brief the content of the 20-page resolution dated October 9, but only disclosed some days ago.
The document, signed by the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, orders the immediate transfer of migrants living in Riace thanks to the Protection System for Asylum and Refuge Seekers (Italian acronym SPRAR) to other structures, with a 60-day deadline to close the operation.
In light of the “clear irregularities”, as the document reads, state funds destined to the reception of migrants must be given back.
“Those who did wrong must pay. We cannot tolerate irregularities in the use of public funds, even if spending them for migrants is an easy excuse”, commented the Deputy Prime Minister Salvini. Meanwhile, the town’s mayor Domenico Lucano – under house arrest since October 2 – is sure that “the Riace model will survive”.
“Our lawyers are already working to file a complaint to the Regional Administrative Court. We are clearly a target for many shooters, they want to destroy us” the mayor continues.
The government seems to rule out forceful removals: migrants will only move on a voluntary basis, but those who opt to stay in Riace will be out of the reception system. Such blackmail clearly hinders the so-far successful integration process for those people.
2. In Berlin 250 thousand people say no to racism
Political parties, LGBTI associations, schools, theatres and many, many citizens: approximately 250 thousand people took the streets of Berlin last Saturday to be part of the Unteilbar (indivisible) march against racism and exclusion. Many souls but a single goal: building a free and open society together, demanding “solidarity, not exclusion” and voicing support to foreign citizens and migrants that in the past months were the target of hate speech and raids.
— DW News (@dwnews) October 13, 2018
Foreign citizens and migration issues were also at the centre of the electoral campaign in Bavaria. CSU, the historical ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel – their leader Horst Seehofer is also the Minister of the Interior – supported a tough line on migrants, polarising the debate and trying not to lose votes in favour of the far-right AFD. This approach didn’t pay out: for the first time, CSU rates decreased to 37.3%, while the Greens and far-right (despite not winning) gained support.
3. In Lodi, foreign children are excluded from the school canteen
On the one side, Italian citizens that just hand over a self-certification; on the other, foreign citizens that need to produce documents from their own countries of origin attesting the lack of goods and properties in their name to access school lunch and bus subsidies.
This regulation was promoted by the mayor of Lodi Sara Casanova, from the League party, and considering how difficult it is to obtain the original documents, de-facto excludes migrants’ children. More than 200 children are forced to eat in separate rooms, away from their Italian friends, and to walk the distance separating their houses from school every morning.
A clear act of discrimination, hidden behind the neutral language of bureaucracy – here a note from Asgi – that awoke solidarity by thousands of citizens: the voluntary fundraising started to help the families of excluded children to pay for the services has already reached 60 thousand euro.
4. The Italian Coast Guard assists 70 migrants off the coast of Lampedusa
Escorted to port by the Italian Coast Guard, the 70 migrants who departed from Libya on a wooden boat and faced troubles off the coast of Lampedusa are in good health conditions.
Migrants on the boat, which was in the Maltese Sar area but extremely close to the island of Lampedusa, had been for hours in the middle of the umpteenth confrontation between Italy and Malta.
Mare Jonio, a vessel of the Mediterranea project, played a fundamental role in this situation. According to the reconstruction by Marco Mesurati – who was on board – for Repubblica, the monitoring, actions and warning by the volunteers were key to allow the Italian military to intercept the boat 2.7 miles away from Lampedusa.
70 vite salvate dalla guardia costiera italiana e al sicuro nel porto di Lampedusa. Siamo felici di apprendere che, dopo una notte di monitoraggio e segnalazioni, queste persone siano in salvo in Italia. La missione di #MareJonio continua. #savinghumans https://t.co/WMv8y4idbb pic.twitter.com/kNXgQ9hjWL
— Mediterranea Saving Humans (@RescueMed) October 13, 2018
Meanwhile, yet another boat reached the south of Sardinia with 50 migrants on board, all of them from Northern Africa. In Lampedusa, as well, despite the significant media campaigns of the past few months, arrivals are not decreasing, as the mayor Martello said in an interview to Vanity Fair.
5. Hundreds of refugees await eviction with no assurance for their future
In Rome, 3,500 people live in occupied houses, shacks and “ghettos”. One of the biggest settlements, the former penicillin factory in via Tiburtina where hundreds of people live in terrible and precarious conditions, is now to be evacuated. Its inhabitants are awaiting eviction without having any certainty on what lies ahead. For this reason, a network of associations – A Buon Diritto, Alterego-Fabbrica dei diritti, Astra 19 a.p.s, Medici per i diritti umani, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom/Italia, among others – are requesting adequate housing for the people to be evicted.
6. Immigration and development, resources to rely on
The Moressa Foundation presents its annual report on the economy of immigration titled “Prospettive di integrazione in un’Italia che invecchia” (integration perspectives in an ageing Italy, here the full video of the presentation). A country that gets older and older, that sees so many young people moving abroad, where birth levels reached their minimum since 1861 and that needs the resources generated by migrants to maintain its services: this is the portrait of Italy that emerges from the report.
In the meantime, and in view of the imminent discussion on the budget law, Italian organisations working in the cooperation sector welcomed the increase in funding for development aids mentioned in the Update Note to the Economic and Financial Document 2018, provided that such resources are used for the objectives declared and not misplaced to finance restrictive migration policies.
7. Dublin Regulation, Germany is the main actor
According to the last update on the Dublin system released by the Asylum Information Database, Germany is still the undisputed protagonist in the implementation of the Dublin Regulation. In the first semester of 2018, Germany sent the most transfer requests by asylum seekers (30,305 in total) to other countries, at the same time receiving the most requests from other countries (12,313). It is also worth mentioning the increase in asylum seekers moved to Greece, which could be explained by the new European Commission’s indications that allow this practice again.
8. Refugees held on the island of Nauru need to be transferred immediately
Closed ports and offshore detention for migrants who try to reach its territory illegally: this is the Australian model, targeted over the past few days by UNHCR, which is asking for migrants to be immediately freed and transferred.
The situation on the island of Nauru is the most worrying: depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal tendencies seem to be the only certainties for the 900 people – including 115 children – held there without any perspective of relocation for almost 5 years now.
MSF was in charge of their health up until some weeks ago, but authorities in Nauru forced the humanitarian organisation to leave the island. “There is nothing humanitarian about saving people from sea only to leave them in an open air prison – declared Paul McPhun, spokesman of the NGO – This policy should be stopped immediately and should not be replicated by any government”.
Meanwhile, more than 6 thousand Australian doctors signed an appeal addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking to release the children held on the island.
9. The hero of the Aegean who saved thousands of refugees
Kyriakos Papadopoulos, lieutenant of the Greek Coast Guard who saved more than five thousand people in 2015, died on October 10 at the age of 44. Born and raised on the island of Lesbos, Papadopoulos was nicknamed “the hero of the Aegean” and “the guardian angel of refugees” for his dedication in saving the thousands of people who tried to cross the Aegean Sea on makeshift boats. At the same time, another story of hope and solidarity emerges from the island of Lesbos. Salam Aldeen, Iraqi-Danish founder of the humanitarian group Team Humanity, has built a playground, with bouncy castles and a small football field, 200 metres away from the infamous Moria camp – known for its inhuman conditions – with the intention of improving the lives of children abandoned at the borders of Europe.
10. Family first, the UNHCR program to support family unity
UNHCR, Caritas Italy and the Communitas Consortium have launched a project called “Family First” to help refugees with their family reunification in Italy. As the project description explains, separation of family members caused by forced displacement can have devastating consequences on peoples’ wellbeing and their ability to rebuild their lives. Therefore, the aim is to simplify family reunification procedures for beneficiaries of international protection in Italy.
Foto di copertina via DW News