Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Potenza, Italy - Contribution of the Italian Team

Comenius Project - “ Cross Perspectives on exile”
Potenza 24-30 October 2010
1. Books on the migration question in Italy
2. Reception and integration
3. Media in Italy
4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights :
Human Dignity
5. Conclusion
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“ ALL OF THEM MUST GO BACK : the policy of reject” by Laura Boldrini
Laura Boldrini has been working in UN agencies for over twenty years .
Since 1998 she has been the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In recent years she has carried out numerous missions in key areas of crisis, including Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, the Caucasus, Rwanda and Angola. This work deals with the problems of refugees .
Sayed is twenty years old. When he was eleven, he had to flee from Afghanistan, leaving his mother and his home, to escape those who wanted to force him to fight with the Talibans. He arrived in Italy after a nine-year journey, including times of hardship and imprisonment, treated in an inhumane way. Sayed's story is just one of many stories gathered by Laura Boldrini in his long experience at the forefront. Today the public debate tends to treat immigrants and refugees equally, without distinction, presenting them as a threat to security. Refugees, as victims of schemes and conflicts, are described as dangerous. The author tells about the injustices committed by European governments against immigrants and about the “policy of reject” by the Italian government, but also describes Italy's solidarity, often obscured by the media, the men who threaten their lives to save shipwrecked at sea from the coast of Africa

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR; established December 14, 1950), also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

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It is the true story of Enayatollah Akbari. The ten years old Afghan boy, whose father had been killed , was left by his mother on the Pakistan border in order to save his life. She told him to be a good person and then she abandoned him during the night. From that moment Enayatollah started his long journey. He worked for some time there and then he moved to Iran with his friend Sufi, known in Afghanistan. They arrived in Iran thanks to a trafficker of men and they found a job in a building site in Eshafan first and then in Qom in a stones factory always persecuted by the fear to be caught by the police. After a long time he decided to leave for Turkey. The journey was long and hard , he spent about three months walking in the high mountains , many people who where with him died for the hardness of the travel, frozen in the glaciers. From Turkey he moved to Greece with some friends. Also this travel was very hard; they arrived in Greece by a rubber dinghy, during this travel one of his friends died. He arrived in Corinto and he took a ship as a stowaway; after many hours he was in Italy, in Venice. In Turin he found his luck, he was taken in an Italian family, he started to go to school and, in the end, after many years he could talk to his mother.

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This book focuses on Church’s religiolous point of view about the immigration and specifically in which way the catholic man should behave with immigrants. Raffaele Nogaro, bishop of Caserta town, talks in this interview-book about his experience with immigrants and the catholic world :
1) Who are the poor in our society nowadays? What do they do for earning their lives ?
Nowadays the poor are mostly the Roms and the immigrants; against them our society is building barriers by the use of strict laws. Poverty has got many different faces. The poor are people without a job or working for a low salary. The poor living in bad conditions have only got two possibilities to earn money: to accept even illegal jobs or steel people.
2)Legge Bossi-Fini
This directive creates a category of inferior human beings because this decree compel immigrants to go back home if they are discovered in Italy without permission. This policy has been criticized by the UNHCR and the European Parliament and defined “the policy of reject”. Globalization regards not only economy and politics but also the social contest. The poor must be protagonist of social development and they can’ t live in a condition of dependence and exploitation.
3)What is the position of the Church about the poor and the immigrants?
Raffaele Nogaro says that the Church nowadays has got an ideological faith and doesn’t do charities. A Christian should help people in need, but most of the Christians don’t live the faith of the Gospel, they don’t act against social injustice. All the Christians should respect the dignity of all human beings and defend the rights of the immigrants. Some parishes manage voluntary associations, family-houses or help immigrants to find a job.
2010 is the European Year against poverty and social exclusion
The most important aims are improving people’s awareness about the social emergencies in order to avoid every kind of stereotype and to renovate the EU engagement about poverty and social exclusion.
Caritas was constituted in 1971 by Pope Paul VI in order to promote charity in the Christian community .
Since 1995 Italian Caritas has had an Immigration Office whose aim was to promote and to support Caritas initiatives about human mobility themes in order to improve emergencies, receipt and integration of immigrants.
Caritas tasks are : promoting charity duties through concrete interventions, organizing and administering emergency interventions in Italy and abroad , doing research about immigrants’ needs, investigating the causes of a sometimes hostile welcome, promoting voluntary work and finally improving social human development of the Southern countries of the world.
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It’s a free information service and multilingual support by the Italian Government for foreign and Italian citizens on the topic of immigration , particularly about housing, residence permit, citizenship and legal procedure.
Immigrant workers often meet a lot of obstacles for the recognition of the qualification obtained in their country.
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The real driving force towards a more multiethnic Italian society is the offspring of the early immigrants, widely known as the second generation "2G". Those young people, indeed, represent the biggest social contribution of immigrants to Italian society. Born in Italy, their upbringing is very unique and fascinating. They represent a new category of citizens who keep the roots of their parents' ethnicity, but grow their branches over the country that adopted them, Italy. They represent the bridge that links Italy with other counties.. Not surprisingly, 2G youth already speak three languages in their early age, and their everyday life is featured by a mixed identity based on the compromise between their personal aspirations and their parents' expectations.


The current law does not grant Italian citizenship to those second generation boys and girls till they are 18 years old, even if they are born in Italy. Another obstacle facing 2G immigrants is that if they leave the country for more than three months, they lose their Italian nationality and they have to live other "non-stop" 18 years in
Italy in order to regain their Italian passport.

A Positive Initiative
Fortunately, some politicians from both coalitions, right and left, have recognized the unjust burden second generation immigrants are carrying.. The President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Gianfranco Fini, has recently urged the governing coalition to consider main changes regarding the current citizenship law; both for early immigrants as well as for 2G Italians. In an open letter published on December 21st, 2008, by one of the most well known Italian newspapers La Repubblica, Mr. Fini wrote, "Our society in less than a decade, or maybe now, will not be the same. We are living a time of big migration streams of people, ideas and resources, especially of human resources. That's why we have to act in accordance with such social development. We cannot let immigration be marginalized. Let's work for a freer and more open society". With this letter, Mr. Fini tried to spur the debate about the 2G need to be granted the Italian citizenship at the age of ten.
School is the first major formal organization that children encounter on their own, and of course , the main means to social integration

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In the latest years Basilicata has started politics in favour of immigrants: from a 2006 statistic in Basilicata there are 7676: 3988 in the province of Potenza and 3688 in that of Matera.
It has been observed that:
  • 17,2% of immigrants are from Ucraina
  • 15,6% of immigrants are from Romania
  • 14,3% of immigrants are from Morocco
  • 11% of immigrants are from Albania
  • 5,8% of immigrants are from India
  • 16,9% of immigrants is under age and 54,8% is aged 18-40.
The overall number of immigrant pupils in Basilicata is 866: 404 in the province of Potenza and 462 in that of Matera. The percentage of immigrants decided to remain permanently in our country is increasing and it is actually a structural phenomenon.
In this context regional politics concerning acceptance and integration have sustained and promoted social, cultural and sanitary integration, trying to facilitate information, intercultural exchange, social and working insertion and social and economic help , through:
  • regional law n.21/1996;
  • regional fund provided by law 328/2000.
Resources have been implied for a set of initiatives of 5 typologies:
  • Informative points for immigrants: 11% of resources has been implied for them (256000€); from 2001 to 2006 seven information points have opened and they represent an informative, social and cultural point of reference;
  • Receipt points: about 20% of funds used; receipt points for seasonal working immigrants and receipt points for refugees and people asking asylum;
  • Integration, socialization actions and solidarity: most of resources has been utilised for this purpose (about 41,4%); they are economical contributes for needy families, language courses, acceptance, sanitary interventions, cultural integration and humanitarian help and information and research actions;
  • Sanitary assistance: 26,2% of funds; health services for under aged children that come from countries with a difficult sanitary situation because of political, military or other humanitarian reasons;
  • Innovative projects: from 2006 1,3% of resources; most of these projects are aimed at women and children, and are recreational or cultural projects.
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The key targets of the seven informative points for immigrants are:
  • To facilitate relations between immigrants and local institutions;
  • To supply cultural mediation between country and immigrants to local entities;
  • To facilitate and make profitable the contacts between local entities and immigrants;
  • To facilitate utilization of territorial services for immigrants.
The seven information points are located in:
  • Potenza
  • Matera
  • Melfi (PZ)
  • Lavello (PZ)
  • Poicoro (MT)
  • Nova Siri (MT)
  • Grassano (MT)
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The people working in these information points have different professions, that span from intercultural mediators and coordinators to psychologists, sociologists and lawyers.

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Every year, between the end of August and September, about three thousand immigrants arrive for the tomato arvest in a restricted area berween Palazzo San Gervasio. Venosa, Melfi and Lavello.
They are usually dislocated in some settlements in tends. Each year the primary need is to ensure the provision of water and hygienic and sanitary services, the medical and legal assistance. Till now there have been only sporadic interventions by the Civil Defence and Caritas.
But the management of reception of seasonal workers must change from the emergency phase to an ordinary phase. It’s necessary to find a definitive and structural solution for a problem that recurs yearly in every tomato harvest.
Basilicata Region believes that it is still possible the implementation of the programme for the reception of immigrants and seasonal workers. Basilicata Region is working at a reception system fully operational in the 2011 season. It will see the participation of local authorities, trade unions, civil defence and voluntary associations.
Riace: a great example of reception and integration
In Italy there are not only problems linked to migration but also good examples of reception and integration ; a successful example is the small village of Riace, in Calabria.
Riace was a small village living the big problem of emigration; in fact the number of the inhabitants was in fall. For this reason local schools and public offices threaten to be closed because of the short number of people .
To stop that critical situation the Major of the city started a new policy; in fact in 1998 he accepted to take part to a national project aiming at the reception and integration of refugees. The first group was composed by 220 Kurdish; in the following years Somali, Kurd, Palestinians, Lebanese arrived.
Today the population is of 4000 inhabitants so the schools and public offices have been opened again. The refugees are very well integrated with the local inhabitants and there are lots of multiethnic couples in Riace nowadays.
Another example of good reception and integration is Caulonia, in Calabria too. Some years ago the immigrants obtained the right to vote in the local elections. The local major has stated that they want to fight crime and mafia not immigrants.
A good integration of immigrants can be a resource for local society.
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In the latest years Italian media have dealt with the question of immigration in Italy as a social question mainly linked to criminality. They have mainly used a scaring and alarmist language.
That attitude has influenced public opinion.

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The Charter of Rome is the code of conduct for journalists dealing with asylum seekers ,refugees , victims of trafficking and migrants
The question was launched on 13/06/2008 proposed by Laura Boldrini (spokeswoman of ONU High Commission) after the attack of the media to Azouz Marzouk, unjustly accused for the Erba’s massacre.
Sharing the concern voiced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as regards the fundamental duty to respect each and every person and his dignity and not to discriminate against anyone on account of their race, religion, gender, physical and mental conditions and political opinions, the National Council of the Journalists’ Association and the Italian National Press Federation has invited Italian journalists to:
  • Adopt an appropriate terminology which reflects national and international law so as to provide readers and viewers with the greatest adherence to the truth as regards all events which are the subject of media coverage, avoiding the use of inappropriate terms;
  • Avoid inaccurate, simplified or distorted information as regards asylumseekers, refugees, victims of trafficking and migrants
  • Safeguard those asylum seekers, refugees, victims of trafficking and migrants who choose to speak with the media by adopting solutions as regards their identity and image so as to ensure that they are not identifiable
  • Whenever possible, consult experts and organisations with a specific expertise on the subject so as to provide the public with information which is clear, comprehensive and also analyses the underlying roots of phenomena


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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. The Declaration has been translated into at least 375 languages and dialects. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws.
The following reproduces some articles of the Declaration which set out the specific human rights that are recognised in the Declaration.

Article 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 13
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 14
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 15
Everyone has the right to a nationality.
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. .
Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 23
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Article 24
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Article 25
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Article 26
Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Article 29
Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

International Human Rights Day

The adoption of the Universal Declaration is a significant international commemoration marked each year on 10 December and is known as Human Rights Day or International Human Rights Day. The commemoration is observed by individuals, community and religious groups, human rights organisations, parliaments, governments and the United Nations. Decadal commemorations are often accompanied by campaigns to promote awareness of the Declaration and human rights. 2008 marked the 60th anniversary of the Declaration and was accompanied by year long activities around the theme .
To sum up , today all the policies of all Governments should be inspired by the principles stated in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" looking at people as human beings entitled of all the same rights and freedoms . Money should be spent not to separate but to integrate through virtuous projects in a multicultural approach.

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Tutti indietro” Laura Boldrini
“ Ero straniero e mi avete accolto” Raffaele Nogaro
“ Nel mare ci sono i coccodrilli” Fabio Geda
“Migranti in Basilicata: progetti, azioni, attività” Regione Basilicata
Students: Rocco Aicale, Rocco A. Ciola, Mariella De Stefano, Giulio Lisanti, Olga Matera, Andrea Pasqui, Maria Salbini, Giusy Sarli, Angelica Sileo, Sergio Telesca, Massimiliano Bochicchio, Antonio Cillis, Gianmarco Grieco, Angela Marino, Flavia Martorano, Noemi Miglionico, Monica Molinari, Chiara Orlando, Sara Ottati, Alice Possidente, Luca Romano, Flavia Trezza.
Teacher : Elisabetta Grimaldi

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