ANNUAL REPORT 2013
MIGRATION AND ASYLUM POLICY IN ITALY
Edited by the Italian National Contact Point
IDOS Study and Research Center
With the support of the Ministry of the Interior
EMN Italy, Annual Report 2013 on Migration and Asylum Policy in Italy (part 2)
Edited by Centro Studi e Ricerche IDOS
Enrico Cesarini, Raniero Cramerotti, Chiara Galli,
Zsuzsanna Pasztor, Franco Pittau e Antonio Ricci
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................................ 3
1. INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................................................... 4
2. OVERVIEW OF ASYLUM AND MIGRATION POLICY DEVELOPMENTS .......................................................... 9
2.1 Political developments .............................................................................................................................................. 9
2.2 Overall developments in asylum and migration...................................................................................................... 11
3. LEGAL MIGRATION AND MOBILITY ................................................................................................................... 16
3.1 Promoting legal migration ...................................................................................................................................... 16
3.2 Economic Migration ............................................................................................................................................... 18
3.3 Family Reunification .............................................................................................................................................. 20
3.4 Intergration ............................................................................................................................................................. 20
3.5 Managing migration and mobility .......................................................................................................................... 25
4. INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION INCLUDING ASYLUM ................................................................................... 27
4.1 International Protection Procedures ........................................................................................................................ 27
4.2 Reception of applicants for international protection ............................................................................................... 28
4.3 The integration of asylum applicants and persons with international protection status .......................................... 29
4.4 Measures to implement aspects of the CEAS ......................................................................................................... 30
5. UNACCOMPANIED MINORS AND OTHER VULNERABLE GROUPS ............................................................... 32
5.1 Unaccompanied minors .......................................................................................................................................... 32
5.2 Other vulnerable Groups ......................................................................................................................................... 33
6. ACTIONS ADDRESSING TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS ........................................................................... 36
7. MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY ........................................................................................................ 36
8. IRREGULAR MIGRATION ........................................................................................................................................ 42
9. RETURN ...................................................................................................................................................................... 46
10. IMPLEMENTATION OF EU LEGISLATION ......................................................................................................... 48
ANNEX 1. METHODOLOGY....................................................................................................................................
ANNEX 2. DEFINITIONS .........................................................................................................................................
ANNEX 3. BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................................................................................................................
ANNEX 4. NATIONAL STATISTICS ......................................................................................................................
The objective of this report, edited by IDOS Study and Research Center for the European
Migration Network (EMN), is to provide a systematic and comprehensive picture of the
developments which have occurred in Italy in the field of immigration and asylum during the year
2013. In general, it is possible to appreciate that, in 2013, the previously established determination
to dedicate greater attention to migratory policy has been confirmed through the implementation of
European Directives in this field and, especially, with the institution of an ad-hoc Ministry for
The first section of the report has the purpose of presenting the national framework active in
the field of immigration and asylum outlining the competent political and institutional bodies. The
following section is dedicated to a general overview of the most important political and legislative
novelties introduced in our country in this field during 2013.
The following sections, provide a detailed account of the mentioned developments, presenting
each one of these in its pertinent thematic area. The first thematic area, presented in section three,
regards legal migration and, specifically, policy in place to promote regular immigration in Italy and
to efficiently administer economic migration and family reunification flows, as well as international
mobility. Moreover, this section deals with the fundamental subject of the integration of third
country nationals regularly residing in our territory.
Section four is dedicated to the thematic area of international protection and asylum, and it
provides information relative to the procedural advances in the field of international protection, the
Italian reception system and the measures taken to develop a common European asylum system. In
this section, there is also a special focus on the integration of refugees and beneficiaries of
international protection for whom there exist specific policies.
Section five is dedicated to unaccompanied foreign minors, whose presence in our country is
a significant phenomenon, and to other vulnerable groups. The following section concentrates on
actions addressing trafficking in human beings.
The seventh section is dedicated to immigration’s interrelation with international development
policy, and it presents data on remittances and on the main projects which are being carried out with
diasporas resident on the Italian territory.
Section eight and nine are dedicated, respectively, to irregular migration and return. Finally,
the last section of the report gives a summary of the state of implementation of European directives
in Italy in the year 2013.
The European Migration Network has been established by the Council Decision
2008/381/EC, in order to provide up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on
migration and asylum.
Pursuant to art. 9 (par. 1 & 2) of the aforementioned Decision, every year each National
Contact Point must provide, on the one hand, several national studies on specific issues set by the
EMN’s annual programme of activities, and on the other, a National Report on Migration and
Asylum Policies, with the aim of providing policy makers with a closer look at the latest policy
developments and statistical data on migration and asylum related issues.
This Tenth Report on Italian migration policy covers the period between January 1st and
December 31st 2013; it provides information for the 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum
2013 of the European Commission (which is due for publication in June 2014) and is considered an
evaluation tool of the Action Plan implementing the Stockholm Programme1. This report also
contributes to the Annual Report of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).
Following the same structure of the 2012 Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum, after a
brief description of the Italian political and institutional system and a reference to the Italian
legislation on immigration, the Report will a provide an overview of the institutional, political and
legislative developments in the field of migration and asylum. After this, the Report will analyze the
legislative and policy changes to the following significant themes: legal immigration and
international mobility (including integration and visa policies); international protection and asylum;
the protection of unaccompanied foreign minors and other vulnerable groups; actions to combat
trafficking in human beings; migrations and development policies; finally, irregular migration and
return measures. In addition, the Report will examine the impact of policies and EU legislation in
the national context, and document the state of implementation of European Directives, their
transpositions and the relevant debates on these issues.
1.1 Structure of Asylum and Migration policy
For about a decade, the various EMN Italy reports have presented the Italian institutional and
political organization in the field of migration and asylum policies. In particular, the 20112 and
20123 Annual Policy Reports on Immigration and Asylum in Italy have outlined the recent major
In addition, with specific regard to the system for the reception of asylum seekers and refugees,
the national report “Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in different Member
1 COM(2010)1471 final of 20.4.2010
2EMN Italy, 2012 Annual Policy Report on Migration and Asylum, Idos, Rome, 2013.
3EMN Italy, 2011 Annual Policy Report on Migration and Asylum, Idos, Rome, 2012.
States” 4 provides a comprehensive description of the system, including the various types of
reception centers, their management and financing.
As fully described in the 2012 Annual Policy Report on Migration and Asylum5, the complex
framework of the organisation of immigration and asylum policies in Italy is divided between
different ministries (Interior, Foreign Affairs, Labour and Social Policies). The main institutional
body in charge of the proper management of immigration and asylum policies is the Ministry of
Interior, which is also responsible for general policy issues (entries, stay and integration, issues
related to citizenship and illegal immigration). The Ministry of Interior is also responsible for the
management of readmission agreements, which Italy has signed with many third countries in order
to facilitate the return of irregular immigrants to their countries of origin, as well as to carry out
voluntary assisted returns for certain categories of migrants who need to be reintegrated in their
country of origin.
The Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration, also by means of the coordination of the
network of contacts of the Territorial Councils for Immigration (chaired by the prefects and
composed of representatives of all the local authorities in the field of immigration and asylum) has a
strategic role in the development of a coherent and coordinated immigration policy in the country.
The authority responsible for achieving the objectives set by the Ministry of Interior in the field
of immigration (planning, monitoring, documentation, analysis, external relations, etc.) is the
Central Directorate for Immigration and Asylum Policies of the above-mentioned Department,
which is also responsible for the management of the European Integration Fund, ensuring the
participation of Italy to the European Migration Network.
The Central Directorate for Assistance to Immigrants and Asylum Seekers (the authority
responsible for the European Refugee Fund and the European Return Fund) deals with the reception
and care of immigrants, both irregulars and those who have already obtained the recognition of
international protection. On the other hand the Central Directorate for civil rights, citizenship and
minorities is responsible for naturalization and for certification of the condition of statelessness.
The Prefectures also manage the so-called “Single Desks for Immigration”, which deal with
issues and procedures, at the request of the foreigner, such as the recruitment of foreign workers,
family reunification, the conversion of the residence permit and the procedures related to the
compulsory Italian language test to obtain the integration agreement.
As in previous years, in 2013 the legislation is based on the so-called “Consolidated Text on
Among the changes that occurred in 2013 in Italian legislation on immigration, the following
laws have been introduced (in chronological order):
4 EMN Italy, Focussed Study on “Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in different Member States”
Idos, Rome, 2013, www.emnitaly.it/index.php/en/researches/focussed-studies/90-the-organisation-of-reception-
5 EMN Italy, Focussed Study on “Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in different Member States”
Idos, Roma, 2013, www.emnitaly.it/index.php/en/researches/focussed-studies/90-the-organisation-of-reception-
Interministerial Decree of January 29th, 2013
Implementation of education and training programs to be carried out in the countries of origin
of third-country nationals6.
Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of February 15th, 2013
Flow Decree establishing the number of EU seasonal workers who will be allowed to enter
Italy in 20137.
Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of February 28th, 2013
Governing the end of humanitarian measures of temporary protection granted to North-African
citizens who entered Italy between January 1 and April 5 20118.
Decree of July 23rd , 2013
Safety rules concerning the residence permit9.
Law no. 96 of August 6th, 2013
Delegation to the Government for the transposition of European Directives and the
implementation of other European Union acts – “2013 European Delegation Law”10.
Law no. 97 of August 6th, 2013,
Provisions for the implementation of the obligations arising from Italy’s membership in the
European Union – European Law 201311.
Law no. 99 of August 9th, 2013
Conversion into Law, with amendments, of the Law Decree no. 76 of June 28th, 2013,
containing first urgent measures for the promotion of employment, especially among young
people, for social cohesion, as well as in the field of Value Added Tax (IVA) and other urgent
financial measures. This law includes provisions that amend the Consolidated Text on
Immigration (T.U.I Legislative Decree no. 286/98) on various issues.
Law Decree no. 104 of September 12th, 2013
Urgent measures in the field of education, university and research12.
Decree of the Head of the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration, 17th of September
Determination of the receptive capacity of the Protection system for asylum applicants and
refugees for the period 2014/2016
Law no. 119 of October 15th, 2013
Conversion into Law, with amendments, of the Law Decree no 93 of August 14th, 2013
containing urgent measures on security and against gender violence, as well as in the field of
civil protection and the compulsory administration of provinces13.
Law Decree no. 120 of October 15th, 2013
Urgent measures for rebalancing the public finances and provisions in the field of immigration
Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of November 25, 2013
Flow Decree establishing the number of third-country workers (non-seasonal) who will be
allowed to enter Italy in 201314.
Law Decree no. 146 of December 23, 2013
Urgent measures on the protection of fundamental rights of prisoners and the controlled
reduction of the prison population15.
Decree of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies of December 19, 2013
Guidelines on unaccompanied foreign minors16,17
Moreover, during the first months of 2014, the following ulterior important laws were
Legislative decree of the 4th of March 2014 no. 40
Single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work
in the territory of a Member State and on a common set of rights for third-country workers
legally residing in a Member State. Entry into force 6th of April 2014.
Legislative decree of the 4th of March 2014 no. 24
Implementation of Directive 2011/36/UE on preventing and combating trafficking in human
beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/J.
Entry into force 28th of March 2014
Legislative decree of the 21st of February 2014 no. 18
Implementation of Directive 2011/95/UE on standards for the qualification of third-country
nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status
for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the
2. OVERVIEW OF ASYLUM AND MIGRATION POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
2.1 Political Developments
The purpose of this section is to offer an overview of the Italian political developments
occurred in 2013, a period characterized by the changes that followed the elections for the
designation of new Italian Parliament representatives, which took place in the first trimester of
Due to the resignation of the President of the Council of Ministers Mario Monti and of the
Ministers of his government, on the 22nd of December 2012, the President of the Republic called for
an early dissolution of the Italian Parliament, four months before the natural conclusion of the 16th
Legislature. Therefore, new general elections took place in February 2013. However, after the
elections, no party was left with a majority in Parliament. In order to solve this stalemate, which
made this country ungovernable, after having been reelected, the President of the Republic Giorgio
Napolitano named Mr. Enrico Letta, former vice President of the Partito Democratico (PD), as the
new Italian Prime Minister. Napolitano asked him to form a new “broad-coalition” government in
order to obtain a vote of confidence by the two Houses of the Parliament. Subsequently, on April
30th, 2013 the Italian Prime Minister won the final vote of confidence in the Senate18, by uniting the
main opposing right and left wing parties, which were rivals before the elections, in a coalition.
Angelino Alfano, a close ally of Silvio Berlusconi and former PDL Secretary (People of
Freedom – Silvio Berlusconi’s party, which joined the European People’s Party), was chosen as
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the new government. Together with several
other Senators and Deputies, Mr. Alfano formed the Nuovo Centro Destra party (NCD) which
continues to support Letta’s government after the split of PDL in November 2013 which led to a
brief crisis of Letta’s coalition government. Berlusconi joined the opposition as the leader of the
new Forza Italia19 (the name of his original party in place from 1994 until 2009).
Domenico Manzione was appointed Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior and Head of
Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration20. Mrs. Cécile Kyenge Kashetu (PD) was appointed
Minister of Integration (without portfolio). Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and
emigrated to Italy in 1983, the minister Kyenge promotes full citizenship for immigrants and the
abrogation of the “crime of illegal immigration”.
18 Ministers with porfolio: Foreign Affairs - Emma Bonino; Interior - Angelino Alfano; Justice – Annamaria
Cancellieri; Defence - Mario Mauro; Economy and Finances - Fabrizio Saccomanni; Economic development - Flavio
Zanonato; Infrastructures and Transports - Maurizio Lupi; Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies - Nunzia De
Girolamo; of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea - Andrea Orlando; Labour and Social Policy, responsible
for Equal Opportunities - Enrico Giovannini; Education, Universities and Research - Maria Chiara Carrozza; Cultural
Heritage and activities - Massimo Bray; Health - Beatrice Lorenzin. Ministers without portfolio: European Affairs -
Enzo Moavero Milanesi; Regional Affairs, Local Autonomies and Sport - Graziano Delrio; Territorial cohesion - Carlo
Trigilia; Relations with Parliament - Dario Franceschini; Constitutional Reforms - Gaetano Quagliariello; International
Cooperation and Integration - Cécile Kyenge; Public Administration and Simplification - Gianpiero D'Alia; Equal
Opportunities, Sport and Politics for the Youth (resigned on June 24, 2013).
19 After the final break with PDL, at the end of September 2013 Silvio Berlusconi requested his ministers to resign due
to the decision to postpone the decree that would cancel the VAT increase.
After the split of the PDL party, the Partito Democratico (PD) has the majority of seats in the
Parliament and is therefore the main coalition supporting the new Letta government, followed by
the Nuovo Centro Destra (NCD) and other political parties. The first opposition party in the
Chamber of Deputies is the Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), followed by the new Forza Italia (FI),
Sinistra Ecologia e Libertà (SEL), Lega Nord and others21.
The policy pursued by the new Letta government is not different from that of the previous
government and continues to follow the recommendations of the European Commission in order to
re-launch the economy. With regard to the economic policy, the priority of the new government is
to fulfill its commitment to contain the deficit (according to the objectives set by the European
Union), to reverse the negative trend of the public debt, and to support the growth of the economy
and employment, while maintaining social cohesion in Italy. The government’s program includes a
number of measures regarding the reception of immigrants landed on Italian shores and the
acquisition of citizenship. However, the government introduced no fundamental changes to
The new measures to promote the growth of the economy were introduced by the government
with the Decree Law no. 69/2013 (known as “Legge del Fare”), converted into Law no. 98 of the
9th of August 201322 which also simplified the procedures for acquiring citizenship for children of
immigrant parents born in Italy who can prove a permanent and continuous residence in the country
(art. 33). In addition, after many amendments, at the end of 2013 the government introduced the
budgetary stability law for 2014 (the so-called Legge di Stabilità 2014, Law no. 147 of the 27th of
December 2013)23 , which replaced the financial law. Among the measures approved by the
government, there is one concerning the financial support to migration policies which allocated 20
million euro to the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa, for the years 2014-2016, in order to address
the serious socio-economic situation in those islands caused by the surge in immigrant landings
(par. 319 of art. 1). In addition, the 2014-201624 Budget Law (Legge di Bilancio) is the main
instrument for implementing the government’s objectives contained in the Public Finance Decision
21 At the end of 2013, after the split of the PDL party, the majority coalition supporting the government Letta became
the Partito Democratico (PD), (led until April 20th 2013 by Pier Luigi Bersani, then by Guglielmo Epifani until the 15th
of December 2013, and afterwards by Matteo Renzi) which has the most seats both in the Chamber of Deputies (46%)
and the Senate (33%), followed by the NCD led by Angelino Alfano (with approximately 5% of the seats in the
Chamber of Deputies and 10% in the Senate). Other political forces support the government, including Scelta Civica of
former premier Mario Monti. The largest political opposition party is the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) led by Beppe
Grillo (approx. 16% of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 17% in the Senate), followed by the new Forza Italia led
by Silvio Berlusconi (approx. 10% of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 19% in the Senate), Sinistra e Libertà (SEL
– led by Nichi Vendola), Lega Nord (led by Umberto Bossi, President, and Matteo Salvini, Secretary) and others.
It is also interesting to note that on the 16th of March 2013 the former spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) for Southern Europe, Mrs. Laura Boldrini, was elected Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies..
22 “Urgent measures to relaunch the economy”, conversion, with amendments, of Law Decree no. 69/2013.
25 Please refer to section 3 for rules on naturalization and section 4 for humanitarian protection.
2.2 Overall developments in asylum and migration
This paragraph aims to provide a general overview of the main policy and legislative changes
and debates that have occurred on migration and asylum issues during 2013, in relation to the
structure of the Stockholm Programme; a more detailed analysis of each development will be
provided in the next chapters.
Stockholm Programme point 6.1.6.: Effective policies to combat illegal immigration
In 2013, in line with political developments, the attention of the media, policy makers and the
general public focused on issues related to the economy and the Italian democratic system.
However, much attention has also been given to issues related to asylum and immigration, mainly
due to the tragic events that have taken place in the Mediterranean Sea in recent years.
For several years, the prevention and fight against illegal immigration and the management of
asylum has been a policy priority for Italy. In 2013, this priority was acknowledged by the
Government through the General Directive of the Ministry of the Interior of February 20th, 2013,
signed by the former Minister of the Interior Annamaria Cancellieri. This plan of action included:
the strengthening of international border security (with both the EU Member Countries and with
third countries, on readmission issues); strengthening of the reception system; the improvement of
the Centers for Identification and Expulsion (CIE) as well as the application of transitional
provisions to the fight against illegal employment of foreign nationals26.
The arrivals: preventing tragic events in the Mediterranean Sea.
As in the previous years, the tragic events that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea, which often
involved minor immigrants, have been reported by the media on the first pages of newspapers and
have captured the public’s attention. During 2013, in fact, many accidents have occurred in the
Mediterranean Sea, including the one occurred on October 3rd off the coast of “Isola dei Conigli”,
near Lampedusa, which caused the death of more than 366 immigrants and has been considered the
worst tragedy that ever occurred in the Mediterranean Sea.
Due to the severity of this accident, the political response was immediate, both at the Italian
and the European levels. The Italian Minister of the Interior Angelino Alfano and the Italian Prime
Minister Enrico Letta, similarly to their predecessors, have once again reiterated the need for an
integrated strategy for the defense of external EU borders. Furthermore, Mr. Letta stated that,
during the Italian Presidency of the European Union, immigration will be a central issue, and Italy
will take the opportunity to insert the strategic topic of Italy as a “bridge of the Mediterranean Sea”
as a priority on the European agenda27. The tragedy has also attracted the attention of the European
Union: the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the European
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, have visited the island of Lampedusa to
better understand the dramatic situation. It has also been announced that Italy will receive additional
funds of up to 30 million euro from Europe, in order to address the situation of refugees.
In concrete terms, the “Mare Nostrum” rescue operation was launched in October to deal with
the immigration crisis, to more effectively rescue shipwrecked persons and to deter human
traffickers28. In addition, the so-called “Stability Law29” has allocated 20 million euro of the
Development and Cohesion Fund to the Municipalities of Lampedusa and Linosa for the period
2014-2016 in order to cope with the severe socio-economic situation in the Island of Lampedusa,
caused by the extraordinary influx of citizens from the Mediterranean Countries, by strengthening
its infrastructure and improving the efficiency of services30.
The Centers: life conditions in First Aid and Reception Centers and in Centers for
Identification and Expulsion
In 2013, the whole reception system and the laws governing the conditions for the expulsion
of irregular immigrants have undergone much debate, in particular because of two events that have
attracted the attention of the Italian public.
The first one occurred when several immigrants hosted in the Center for Identification and
Expulsion (CIE) of Ponte Galeria (a structure intended for the detention of irregular third-country
nationals waiting to be deported) started protesting their plight and joined a hunger strike. Some of
them even sewed their mouths shut to protest against prolonged detention and the living conditions
in the CIE, asking for alternative solutions rather than expulsion.
This protest has attracted much media attention, but it was not the first one of 2013: in
August, at the Reception Center for Asylum Seekers (CARA) of Crotone, several immigrants
protested against the organization of the center and its overcrowding; in September, in Milan,
several immigrants set fire to their mattresses; in December, a large group of immigrants hosted at
the CARA center of Mineo protested against the excessive bureaucracy required for obtaining
residence permits and asylum applications.
Another similar story took place in December in the First Aid and Reception Center of
Lampedusa (CPSA), a temporary facility whose purpose is to provide first-aid and assistance during
critical situations, where migrants are accommodated while waiting to be transferred to other
reception centers, usually within 48 hours. Due to the intensification of landings, the center’s
reception capacity was sorely tested, causing inhuman sanitary treatments. Various images of this
event were aired by national television and have been widely disseminated on the internet.
The images in question show the treatment of a group of 104 foreigners who had been
diagnosed with a rash caused by mites and who had been prescribed with a specific prophylaxis, but
were actually hosed down with disinfectant. Minister Alfano has stated that “the impersonal
behaviour, the lack of sensitivity and the contempt for the respect of the dignity and privacy of the
28 Mare Nostrum will be using an amphibious ship for the first time. It has command and control capacities and is
equipped with long-range helicopters, a hospital, and ample space for shipwrecked refugees. Also at the operation’s
disposal will be two Navy patrol boats and two frigates as well as other aircrafts. See:
30 2014 Stability Law (27 December 2013, no. 147), art.1, par. 319.
person shown by the culprits are completely inappropriate and certainly unacceptable”. In addition,
a procedure for terminating the agreement with the cooperative that managed the Center was
initiated, and the Italian Red Cross was asked to strengthen its presence on the island, within the
framework of the “Presidium” project. “We are also studying the possibility”, said Minister Alfano,
“of entrusting the administration of the Center to an institution of unquestioned capacity and
international prestige, a matter which has been submitted to the Avvocatura di Stato for its legal
The political debate on legislation: the crime of illegal immigration and the regulation of
The events described in the preceding paragraphs have been reported on the front page by the
media, and have been widely commented on by various politicians. Many requested the
improvement of living conditions in the reception centers as well as the revision of the immigration
legislation currently in force: the so-called “Bossi-Fini Law” (Law no. 189/2002), the “Security
Package” Law (Law no. 94/2009) and the Law no. 129/2011, all laws which have introduced
The Bossi-Fini law was the beginning of a succession of increasingly restrictive policy on
immigration; the “Security Package” (Law no. 94/2009) introduced the crime of illegal immigration
(crime of illegal entry and stay) and Law no. 129/2011, which implemented Directive 2008/115/EC
on the return of illegally staying third-country nationals, extended from 180 days to 18 months the
maximum period of stay of foreign nationals in the Centers for Identification and Expulsion (this
extension was a possibility provided for by the European Directive, but not an obligation).
At the beginning of October 2013, a few days after the “tragedy of Lampedusa”, an
amendment proposed by two senators of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S), Maurizio Buccarella
and Andrea Cioffi, which asked for the suppression of the crime of illegal immigration, was
unexpectedly approved with the favorable opinion of the government by the Justice Committee of
the Italian Senate, thanks to the support of Partito Democratico and Scelta Civica.
The amendment was presented on July 2013 and provided for the repeal of Article 10-bis of
the Consolidated Text on Immigration (T.U.I.) introduced by the Law no. 94 of July 2009 (the so-
called “Security Package”). With the repeal, only the administrative proceedings for the expulsion
of those who violate the laws on entry and stay in the country would remain in force32. This incident
created confusion, when the leader of the M5S stated that the position that the two senators
presented at the Justice Committee was entirely personal and did not reflect the movement’s
program. Also, the legislative change was not in line with the position of Minister Alfano. The issue
was not resolved in 2013, since the amendment is approved only if it passes both in the
Commission and in the Chamber of Deputies; however, the Government and the Prime minister
Letta are expected to mediate between the different positions, with a debate at a more general level
about the efficiency and contradictions of the Italian legislation on immigration.
Stockholm Programme point 6.1.7.: Unaccompanied Minors (UAM)
Within the framework of the above mentioned measures dedicated to the emergency of
landings on the Italian coasts, which also involved foreign minors, specific resources have been
allocated to improve the accommodation of foreign minors in the First Aid and Reception Center
(Cpsa) of the island of Lampedusa, which also accommodates minor children. In addition, another
20 million euro were allocated to the National Fund for unaccompanied minors (which was
established and placed under the control of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies by art. 23,
par.11 of the Law Decree no. 95/2012, converted, with amendments, into Law no. 135/2012, fifth
Also in 2013, an analysis and update of administrative procedures and documentation relating
to unaccompanied foreign minors (UAM) has been initiated. Ten years after the publication of the
previous “Implementing provisions of the tasks assigned to the Committee for foreign minors
relating to unaccompanied minors in Italy”, a preliminary version of the “Guidelines on
unaccompanied foreign minors” 34 was adopted, followed by a public consultation on the text open
to the citizens and all interested parties.
Stockholm Programme point 6.1.5.: Integration
Soon after the announcement of the composition of the Letta Government, the new Minister
for Integration Cécile Kyenge Kashetu (born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) was victim
of the racial slurs of some right-wing politicians. The insults that have spread across the internet
against the Minister Kyenge reflect the hostility that various politicians and Italian citizens towards
foreigners. These comments were condemned by other several politicians, the media and many
On the other hand, Minister Kyenge is promoting the citizenship reform for the second
generation (partially based on the “ius soli” principle), which has been debated for years, thanks to
an extensive cooperation with the organizations active in the field of migration and the actions of
representatives of young foreigners who were born in Italy or immigrated at a very young age.
The issue of the extension of voting rights to third-country nationals has also been debated. In
fact, it takes at least 10 years for a foreigner to acquire citizenship (which gives the right to vote),
and therefore, for the same period, it is impossible for him/her to participate in political life. In
2013, a proposal regarding Municipal elections was made by a Municipal Councilor of Brescia
during the presentation of the UNAR-IDOS Statistical Dossier on Immigration35 which has been
commented upon in different ways by various politicians. However, although the debate over the
extension of voting rights to third-country nationals has been going on for more than a decade, the
legislative initiatives have mainly focused only on municipal elections and have never been
Also, a decree of December 201336 opened the Civil Service to young third-country nationals
legally residing in Italy, following a judgment of the Court of Milan which found the requirement of
Italian citizenship to be discriminatory37.
Another relevant news is the tragic fire in a Chinese textile industry-dormitory (the so-called
“Tragedy of Prato”) which caused the death of 7 Chinese workers and called attention to the living
and working conditions of immigrants.
Finally, the Legislative Decree of December 17th, 2013 approved the proposal for a Legislative
Decree which aims to promote the integration of beneficiaries of international protection (refugees
and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection), allowing the issuance of EC long-term residence permits
also to refugees, under the same conditions as other third-country nationals. The Legislative decree
implements the Directive 2011/51/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 11th,
36 Decree of December 4th, 2013. www.serviziocivile.gov.it/smartFiles_Data/b1763212-21bb-4893-9e0a-
3. LEGAL MIGRATION AND MOBILITY
3.1 Promoting legal migration
3.1.1 Students and Researchers
According to the national online Student Registry of the Ministry of Education, University
and Research (MIUR)39, in the academic year 2012-2013, the number of international students
(both EU and non-EU) enrolled at Italian universities was 69,618 (equal to 4% of the total). Also
taking into account the students enrolled at religious and artistic institutes, the total number of
international students in Italy is around 110,000, as shown by the VI EMN Report International
Students at Italian Universities: empirical survey and insights” 40.
During 2013, significant legislative changes have been introduced in order to simplify the
rules on stay and inclusion in the labor market for international students who have studied in Italy.
Such regulatory changes have been adopted as part of a general strategy aimed at promoting
employment rates (particularly among young people) which are undermined by the current
economic crisis. For this reason, within specific legislative acts41, the government has included
several measures in the field of competitiveness, the right to study, university education and the
transition from study to work, in order to simplify the conditions for entry and residence in Italy for
third-country students in Italy.
According to the legislation previously in force, third-country nationals could enter Italy for
study purposes only within specific entry quotas set annually by the government; in addition,
specific annual checks on the progress of the study were carried out for the renewal of residence
permits issued for study purposes. With the implementation of the program plan “Destinazione
Italia42”, adopted by the Government in order to attract investment and foreign talents, the entry
quotas for foreign students in Italian universities have been repealed43, except for Faculties that
accept only a fixed number of students.
40 Report EMN Italy, “International Students at Italian Universities: empirical survey and insights”, IDOS, Rome, 2013.
The Report shows that the Italian academic system is highly regarded by international students. However, several
problems of integration continue to persist. Among the factors hindering a greater presence of international students in
Italy, the Report highlights in particular: the difficulties inherent to the planning of entry flows; uncertainty in issuing
residence permits for study purposes; the complex mechanism for the recognition of qualifications obtained abroad; the
limited number of scholarships granted; the lack of university housing (the number of beds available is only 2.8% of the
total university population); the lack of knowledge of the Italian language before coming to Italy; the limited
availability of courses in English.
41 Law no. 99 of the 9th of August 2013, conversion of the Decree Law no. 76 of 28 June 2013, on first urgent measures
for the promotion of employment, especially among young people;
42 See the institutional website “Destinazione Italia” (http://destinazioneitalia.gov.it/) and, in particular, measure no. 44
relating to visa policy.
43 See Law no. 9 of the 21st of February 2014, conversion into law, with amendments, of the Law Decree no. 145 of 23rd
of December 2013, on urgent measures for the «Destinazione Italia» plan; this Law repealed par. 4 of art. 39 of the
Consolidated Text on Immigration (T.U.I.) which established that the number of entry visas and residence permits for
university studies, issued to foreign students living abroad, had to be defined annually by a specific inter-ministerial
Another significant change, which will come into force soon44 concerns the duration of the
residence permit for foreign students, which will no longer be annual (with its requirement of a
periodic renewal) but will correspond to the duration of the course of study or training attended, in
order to simplify administrative matters and to promote the attractiveness of the country.
In addition, Law 99/201345 provides that foreign students who obtain their Degree or Master
Degree in Italy, will be granted an additional year of residence after the expiry of their permit for
study purposes during which they will be able to look for a job and therefore convert their residence
permit for study purposes into a residence permit for employment. In the current economic
downturn, in fact, one of the main problems foreign students faced was that, if unable to enter the
labor market immediately after they finished their course of studies, this compromised their chances
of residing regularly in the country.
As regards researchers, their entry has been facilitated (and authorized out of quota) through
the Legislative Decree 18/2008 which implemented the European Directive 2005/71/EC. In
addition, the procedure for certifying the economic resources needed for the stay of foreign
researchers has been simplified 46 , and the compulsory assessment of the suitability of
accommodation, in case of family reunification of family members of foreign researchers, has been
3.1.2 Other legal migration
Among other forms of legal migration related to the training of workers, it is worth
mentioning the visas for vocational training47 and for pre-departure training and education programs
completed in the countries of origin of foreign workers. Both entry forms are rarely used and
governed by specific rules. The relative entry quotas set by the Government have not been entirely
used, despite the lack of other forms of entry for foreign workers who are interested in entering Italy
(since 2011, in fact, due to the economic crisis, the government has not set new entry quotas for
non-seasonal employment). Consequently, the rules governing these visas have been partially
First of all, the determination of entry quotas for vocational training has been extended from
one to three years48, to overcome the administrative difficulties in the procedures for issuing visas
for study and professional training.
With regards to pre-departure training projects, after a decade of trials (they were introduced
into Italian law in 2002), their overall effectiveness was put under scrutiny. In this regard, the report
“Analysis on the use of entry quotas established by the 2012 Flow Decree for non-seasonal
44 See Law no. 128 of 8 November 2013, Conversion into Law, with amendments, of the Decree Law no. 104 of 12
September 2013, on urgent measures in the field of education, university and research. The changes introduced by the
law will come into force after the adoption of a specific implementing regulation, which will also specify the ways in
which the students must demonstrate, every year, that they are taking and passing exams.
45 Law no. 99 of 9 August 2013, conversion of the Decree Law no. 76 of 28 June 2013
46 See Law no. 9 of 21 February 2014, loc. cit.
47 See Entries for professional and vocational training, art. 27, par. 1, letter F) of the Consolidated Text on Immigration
48 See Law no. 99 of 9 August 2013, loc. cit.
employment” highlighted the fact that these projects are of little interest to employers49. For this
reason, the number of quotas determined for 2014 has been reduced to 3,000, as opposed to 4,000
planned during the previous year50. In addition, a specific decree51 amended the procedures related
to the application, evaluation and approval of pre-departure training programs. The reasons behind
the adoption of this new decree, which replaced the previous legislation52, were the need to ensure
greater efficiency in interventions and to promote effective job placement in Italy for those third-
country nationals who have completed their training programs53, while avoiding the risk of starting
training projects in their countries of origin regardless of the existence of concrete job opportunities
in our country.
3.2 Economic Migration
The measures taken by the Government during 2013 were primarily aimed at dealing with the
unemployment crisis and favoring the reintegration of many unemployed foreign workers into the
labor market. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, more than
500,000 foreign nationals were unemployed in 2013 (of whom 157,000 were EU citizens and
354,000 were third-country nationals), a considerable increase over those recorded in 2012
(384,000). The unemployment rate among foreign nationals reached a total of 17.9% compared to
11.3% of Italians.
Several research reports54 have confirmed the quantitative and qualitative change of the labor
demand for foreign workers, which decreased especially in the manufacturing sectors, and only
increased in the personal services sector. In general, there has been an increase in demand for
In particular, the “Third annual report: Immigrants in the Italian labor market” 55 , an
institutional document adopted by the Government, served to inform policies in support of
employment of foreigners and determining entry quotas. In order to address critical issues related to
the labor market of foreign nationals, the Government decided to intervene focusing on the
49 The Report shows that, given the 4,000 entry quotas established by the D.P.C.M. of the 16th of October 2012, only
1,494 applications were submitted, equal to 37% of the total, and that only 0.4% of those who applied actually entered
Italy and requested a residence permit. Moreover, after taking note of the limited use of the 4,000 entry quotas
established by the D.P.C.M. of the 13th of March 2012, the inter-Ministerial Decree of June 28th 2013 has extended to
December 31st, 2013 the deadline for the application for the unused entry quotas set for 2012.
50 See Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of November 25th 2013: Flow Decree establishing the number
of third-country workers (non-seasonal) allowed to enter Italy in 2013.
51 Decree of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies of the 29th of January 2013: Implementation of education and
training programs to be carried out in the countries of origin of third-country nationals.
52 Decree of the 22nd of March 2006: Implementation of education and training programs to be carried out in the
countries of origin of third-country nationals.
53 To this end, the number of institutions entitled to submit training and education programs was expanded. In addition,
the procedure for the submission and evaluation of these programs has been decentralized to ensure a better connection
with the local labor market. Finally, in order to evaluate these programs, a higher score is given to those proposals that
precisely identify the demand for labor and that are committed to providing employment for a significant percentage of
54 See: 2013 Annual Report on Mandatory Communication, edited by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies.
Report on the Labor Market 2012- 2013, edited by CNEL, 2013 Annual Report, edited by ISTAT, Monitoring of the
occupational needs of businesses, 2013- Unioncamere - Excelsior
55 Third annual report: Immigrants in the Italian labor market - 2013
reintegration of unemployed foreign workers, strengthening employment services and authorizing
entry quotas only for seasonal workers and highly skilled workers56.
According to economic forecasts, a small increase in GDP will determine a small increase in
jobs; for this reason, it was decided to favour reintegration of the unemployed in the labour market
and to facilitate entry for highly skilled workers. The goal of national policy makers can be
summarized with the conclusions of the report “The labor market of foreign workers in Italy in the
second quarter of 2013” published in October 2013 by the General Directorate for Immigration and
Integration Policies of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies. According to this report, the
steady decline in the demand for labour and the considerable number of people looking for
employment means that the demand for labour can be fully satisfied by the available supply of
labour, even without new entry quotas determined by the annual Flow Decrees.
If, up to 2010, the number of entry quotas set by the government was significant (98,000 entry
quotas for non-seasonal employment and 80,000 for seasonal employment in 2010), since 2011, due
to the economic crisis, the entry quotas set by the government have decreased considerably,
virtually eliminating the ordinary channels of entry in the country. It should also be noted that
during 2013 the government continued to verify the applications for regularization of undeclared
work submitted by 134,766 foreign workers, after the entry into force of the Decree 109/201257.
The entry quotas planned for 2013 regarded 30,000 entries for seasonal employment58 and 10,000
entries for professional training in Italy59. The Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers
of November 25th 201360 established the number of third-country workers allowed to enter Italy in
2013, authorizing: 3,000 entries for beneficiaries of pre-departure training and education programs;
2,300 for self-employed workers; 200 for foreign workers participating in the 2015 Milan Expo;
100 for foreign citizens of Italian origin residing in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Brazil, for
non-seasonal employment or self-employment. In addition to these entry quotas, it is worth
mentioning the other forms of out of quota entry for highly skilled workers, professional nurses and
EU Blue Card holders.
To simplify administrative procedures, specific changes related to recruitment of foreign
workers residing abroad have been introduced in the legislation61. In particular, the laws governing
the so-called “preliminary assessment of availability of domestic labor” have been modified.
According to the previous procedures, if an employer was interested in hiring a foreign worker
residing abroad, the competent employment centers would carry out a preliminary research on the
56 While it is true that the foreign labour force has increased significantly in recent years (in sharp contrast to the
dynamics that marked the Italian labour force), at the same time the growth of the active population, due to the increase
in family reunifications and the entry into the labor market by second generations, had a negative impact on the
employment rate of foreign nationals. The oversupply of foreign labor and the lack of participation in active labor
market policies by migrant workers, also had a negative impact on the relative unemployment rates.
57See Legislative Decree no. 109 of July 16th, 2012, implementing Directive 2009/52/EC, providing for minimum
standards on sanctions and measures against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals.
58 Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of February 15th, 2013, Flow Decree establishing the number of
third-country seasonal workers who will be allowed to enter Italy in 2013.
59 Decree of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies of July 16th, 2013, Determination of the 2013 annual entry quotas
for foreign nationals participating in training and educational courses.
60 Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of November 25th, 2013, Flow Decree establishing the number of
third-country workers (non-seasonal) who will be allowed to enter Italy in 2013.
61 With the Decree Law no. 76/2013, the Government has adopted several measures to promote employment, improve
the labour market and support vulnerable categories; the decree also contains certain changes to immigration policies.
possible availability of other currently unemployed workers residing in Italy to take on that job. The
amendment introduced by the new decree has anticipated the moment when such preliminary
research is carried out, thus facilitating the subsequent examination of the applications for
authorisation to work (“nulla osta al lavoro”).
In the field of management of entry flows, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies
promotes the signing and implementation of “Bilateral Agreements for the regulation and
management of entry flows for work purposes”62. These agreements are aimed at strengthening
cooperation in the management of migration for work purposes with the most important countries of
origin, establishing a system of regulated management of migration flows, strengthening
mechanisms for the selection of qualified foreign workers to meet the requirements of the Italian
Labour Market and sharing technical instruments based on a common language between the country
of origin and country of destination. So far, the General Directorate for Immigration has signed
bilateral agreements with Albania, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco and Sri Lanka, and other six have
been finalized with Bangladesh, Philippines, Ghana, Tunisia and Peru. Other agreements with India,
China, Ecuador, Russia and Ukraine have also been planned.
Moreover, the Ministry of the Interior has funded specific projects to promote international
mobility and legal immigration in Italy, such as: e-B.O.S.L.A. 2 (pre-departure language and civic
education projects, as a “compass”63 to guide foreigners entering Italy for the first time); “Safe and
informed migration from Senegal to Italy”64 (an information and training campaign on migration
issues addressed to social, legal and administrative operators of Senegalese institutions);
“Immigration: Paths of Regularity in Italy” - I.P.R.IT.65 (including training sessions on migration
legislation held in Casablanca for representatives of the social world and local public
administrations, supported by a quick-guide on immigration laws, printed in both Italian and French
and disseminated with the support of the Italian diplomatic network and the creation of specific
communication material for young Moroccans, to be disseminated through social media).
3.3 Family Reunification
During the last years, the composition of immigration flows to Italy has been gradually
changing, with a significant decrease of entries for employment, due to the economic crisis and the
resulting decline in demand for foreign labour. On the other hand, the percentage of entries for
family reunification has increased to the extent that it has become the main reason of entry in the
country. In 2012, 44.3% of the 263,968 new residence permits were issued for family reunification
(15% more compared to 2010 and 5% more compared to 2011), and entries for employment were
26.9% of the total, half of those recorded in 2010.
From a regulatory point of view, no changes have been applied to the legislation governing
family reunification. It is also worth mentioning that the Italian law protects the family union as a
constitutional right. Therefore, unlike other Member States, there are no entrance tests for
candidates wishing to enter the country for family reunification (see, for instance, the preventive
tests on the level of integration or the degree of language proficiency required by the Netherlands).
In Italy, only economic and housing requirements established by law are verified, in order to ensure
an adequate social integration of third-country nationals who enter through family reunification66.
It should also be noted that a partner (not necessarily a spouse) of an EU citizen (i.e. a person
who has a lasting relationship with a Citizen of the European Union, which can be attested by an
official documentation67) has been included68 among the categories of beneficiaries of the right to
family reunification. In addition, the Court of Cassation (judgment no. 21108/201369) has resolved a
jurisprudential issue related to the Kafala System (a type of adoption known in some Islamic
Countries), ruling that the family reunification in Italy for a third-country minor entrusted to an
Italian citizen abroad by means of the Kafala system, cannot be denied.
In Italy, policies and measures for integration are adopted at various levels by different public
institutions and private social organizations: activities at the national level are complemented by the
active and heterogeneous efforts of local authorities and third sector associations.
The 9th CNEL Report on Indicators of Integration of Immigrants70 in Italy has provided an
updated overview of the level of integration of foreign nationals in our country. Through 15
different statistical indicators, the Report shows the attractiveness of Provinces, Regions and large
territorial areas for the foreign population in Italy, as well as its level of social and occupational
integration. The current economic crisis has lowered the levels of economic growth, employment
and social cohesion in the country, with a direct impact on the levels of integration of immigrants in
Since April 2013, with the new Letta government, the office of the Ministry for Integration
has been established within the Presidency of the Council of ministers. During her hearing before
the Chamber of Deputies71 , the Minister Cécile Kyenge has explained the guidelines of her
66 Pursuant to art. 29 of the Consolidated Text on Immigration (T.U.I.) a foreigner applying for family reunification
must prove the availability of a: housing that satisfies the requirements of hygiene and health suitability; a yearly
minimum income which cannot be lower than the welfare check, increased by half for any family member to reunite (in
2014, the social welfare check is equal to 5.818,93 euro) and, if the reunification is asked for a parent over the age of
65, suitable health insurance.
67 Previously, the stable and lasting relationship had to be duly attested by the State of the EU citizen; therefore, any
relationship other than marriage had no relevance if the EU citizen was Italian, because Italian legislation does not
recognize unmarried couples. The mentioned new measure was introduced in order to properly implement Directive
2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the EU and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of
the Member States.
68 Law no. 97 of August 6, 2013, provisions for the implementation of the obligations arising from Italy’s membership
in the European Union – European Law 2013.
70 9th_CNEL REPORT: _indices of Integration of Immigrants: www.cnel.it/29?shadow_ultimi_aggiornamenti=3484
71 See: Hearing of the Minister for Integration before the Commission for Constitutional Affairs of the Chamber of
Deputies of October 30, 2013
Ministry, paying specific attention to the reform of the law on the acquisition of citizenship. The
adoption of the 2014-2020 Pact for a Europe of Diversity and fight against racism, the
representation of foreigners and the need to provide concrete answers to social problems – in
particular those of housing and economic development - which have worsened due to the current
economic crisis. Among the initiatives promoted by the Ministry, the International Conference held
in Rome on September 23rd, 2013 was, of particular relevance. This conference saw the
participation of Ministers for Integration of 17 European Union Countries. After the meeting, the
EU representatives signed the Rome Declaration on the fight against racism, xenophobia and any
other kind of discrimination.
On the occasion of the European Year of Citizens, specific attention was devoted to the
promotion of intercultural understanding and the fight against discrimination. In particular, in the
inter-ministerial website www.integrazionemigranti.gov.it, a specific section was devoted to the
participation of foreign citizens in Italian public life. This section provides a detailed map of the
various institutions and organizations that facilitate the participation of foreigners in the public life
of the country: Regional and Local Councils, Municipal Councilors, Territorial Councils for
Immigration and Registers of foreigners’ associations. In this regard, it is also worth mentioning the
publication of a national call for proposals named “Intercultural dialogue and empowerment of
foreign associations”72, financed by the European Integration Fund (EIF) and aimed at providing
funds for services to enhance the participation of foreign citizens in local public life, encouraging
the promotion of advisory bodies and support the role of foreigners’ associations as qualified agents
to promote the processes of inclusion and social mediation.
Actions against discrimination have been also promoted at the institutional level by the
National Office against Racial Discrimination (UNAR) 73 and by various initiatives of associations.
Since March 10th 2012, the integration agreement for third-country nationals entering Italy for
the first time entered into force. The agreement provides for the verification of the integration
objectives signed by the applicants at the time of their entry. The agreement is applicable to all
third-country nationals over the age of 16 entering Italy for at least one year (with the exception of
specific categories). They may benefit from support services for their integration process, by
attending civic education sessions and language courses after their entry.
In total, from March 10th 2012 to February 27th 2014, 135,811 agreements were signed by
third-country nationals belonging to 159 different nationalities, showing the heterogeneity of
migration flows to Italy. The top five nationalities for the number of agreements signed were as
follows: Morocco (15,649); China (15,249); India (10,089); Albania (8,581) and Sri Lanka (7,598).
These top nationalities make up 42% of the total. Moreover, it can be observed that large urban
areas attract the largest number of immigrants, the first five provinces for the number of agreements
have been: Rome (15,625); Milan (13,969); Turin (5,949); Naples (5,330) and Brescia (4,213).
72 Avviso FEI azione 7-2013: www.interno.gov.it
73 The Office for the promotion of equality of treatment and the elimination of discrimination on grounds of race and
ethnic origin (UNAR) was established by the Legislative Decree no. 215 of July 9, 2013, implementing the European
Directive 2000/43/EC. It works under the Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of
For the annual planning of the European Integration Fund, a broad consultation with all
stakeholders of the sector has been carried out, involving: central government institutions, regions
and autonomous provinces, the national network of the Territorial Councils for Immigration and
social associations active in the field of integration of foreigners. The priority areas of intervention
are: language training; employment support; linguistic-cultural mediation; integration of foreign
students in the Italian school system.
In 2013, thanks to the European Integration Fund 74 (EIF), 94 local projects have been
launched, together with 21 regional projects for language training (one for each Italian region and
autonomous province), 12 regional projects to combat discrimination, 17 local projects carried out
by the prefectures – territorial offices of the government and 11 projects carried out by the central
administration75. Specific attention has been paid to the promotion of language training and civic
education courses for foreign nationals. In particular, “Regional plans for language and civic
education of third-country nationals” have been funded through the EIF, as part of an overall
strategy aimed at ensuring standardized services at the national level. To this end, the Ministry of
Education, University and Research has established the “Guidelines for the development of Italian
language acquisition courses”76. In addition, in order to promote Italian language learning by third-
country nationals and the professional development for teachers involved in training courses, the
Ministry of Interior and the MIUR have promoted the creation of a “Great Web Portal of the Italian
Language77”, a comprehensive archive of educational materials, teaching guides and self-study
The next EIF annual planning for 201378 has also provided for a total budget of 59,613,044
euro for the financing of national, regional and local interventions, to be carried out by June 30th
2015. The main priorities of the Annual Planning are the active involvement of local authorities
(which are responsible for a wide range of services in favor of immigrants) and the promotion of
coordination and cooperation between the national and the local levels. Several interventions are of
particular importance in the Annual Planning, especially those on language training, the promotion
of employment opportunities for vulnerable categories, social and cultural mediation and capacity
building, aimed at enabling a standard service level throughout the country.
The institutional website www.integrazionemigranti.gov.it provides updates and reliable
information on services for foreigners. It was launched to facilitate access to all services offered to
third-country nationals throughout the territory. Another public service which provides free
information and multi-lingual support to Italian and foreign nationals on immigration issues is the
institutional toll-free number Linea Amica Immigrazione (803-001). The Ministry of Labour and
Social Policies has also published an updated version of the guide “Immigration: how, where,
when” available in 10 languages.
74 Based on the resources of the Annual Program 2012.
75 Source: Ministry of Interior, section “Bandi di gara e Graduatorie”.
76 See: Guidelines for the development of Italian language acquisition courses
77 See: www.italiano.rai.it/
78 EIF 2013 Annual Planning, approved by the European Commission with the Decision no. 2656 of May 3, 2013.
To improve the integration of foreign students in the Italian school system, the website of the
Ministry of Education, Universities and Research79 and the Integration Portal80 provide for specific
sections for study as well as an archive of documents and good practices. In particular, the Ministry
of Education, University and Research has published the Guidelines for Foreign Students’
Reception and Integration81, whose objective is to present a set of shared guidelines at the cultural
and educational level, providing educational and organizational suggestions in order to facilitate the
integration and improve the educational success of foreign students. These guidelines pay particular
attention to second generations, while also focusing on evaluation, teaching and school orientation
3.4.1 Citizenship and Naturalization
Law no. 91 (the so called new rule on citizenship), which dates back to 199282, governs the
acquisition and recognition of Italian citizenship, and is based on the principle of Ius sanguinis,
according to which citizenship is determined by having one or both parents who are citizens of the
state. Although it is true that this principle shares the same historical roots in many European States,
which are interested in maintaining a close relationship with their citizens living abroad and their
descendants, unlike other countries, in Italy there is little balance between the ius sanguinis and the
ius soli principles83.
Even the acquisition of citizenship by naturalization requires a higher period of legal residence
in our country compared to the European average (10 years, compared to 8 in Germany and 5 in
France and the UK). For these reasons, the number of Italian citizenships granted is much lower
than the EU average84.
Over the years, the rules governing the acquisition of Italian citizenship have been strongly
debated. Part of public opinion believes that the law that requires that children born in Italy to
foreign parents to wait until they come of age in order to apply for Italian citizenship should be
amended. Several bills aimed at reforming the discipline of the matter have been presented to
Waiting for a more comprehensive reform on the matter, several administrative provisions have
been introduced85 in order to simplify the procedure for the acquisition of citizenship for foreigners
born in Italy, providing foreign nationals who have just turned 18 with proper and timely
information on how to acquire Italian citizenship, allowing them to demonstrate that they meet the
requirements for naturalization (18 years of continuous legal residence in the country) by means of
80 See: Section on good practices of integration: www.integrazionemigranti.gov.it
81 See: Guidelines for the reception and integration of foreign students
82 See: Law no. 91 of February 5,1992, New rules on Citizenship
83 See: Comparative research report: Natac: acquisition and Loss of Nationality
84 See: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=migr_acq&lang=en
In this section of its institutional website:
www.interno.gov.it/mininterno/export/sites/default/it/temi/cittadinanza/sottotema008.html, the Ministry of Interior
provides updated statistical data on the acquisition of citizenship.
85 See: art 32 of the Legislative Decree no. 69/2013, simplification of the procedure for the acquisition of citizenship for
foreigners born in Italy.
any available documentation. These provisions are intended to overcome any obstacle due to lack of
documentation (caused either by mistakes made by parents or by public administration).
3.5 Managing migration and mobility
3.5.1 Visa Policy and Schengen Governance
In 2012, Italy was the third among the major Schengen partners in the number of visas issued,
with 1,872,394, immediately after France (2,311,260 visas) and Germany (1,956,422, only 20.000
more than Italy). In the same year, the number of visa applications handled by our diplomatic
network (172 diplomatic and consular offices all over the world) increased by 9%. 67,905 visas
were denied (equal to 3.5% of the total), a lower number than the previous year and slightly below
the EU average.
The Fourth EMN report “Migration Channels – visas and irregular flows86” contains a
detailed analysis of Italian visa policies, showing an inversely proportional relationship between the
evolution of national visas issued by Italy - which increased by 17% from 2001 (186,167) to 2010
(218,318) - and the number of irregular migrants which, on the other hand, are steadily declining.
Currently, the regions covered by the Visa Information System (VIS) are: North Africa, the Middle-
East, Africa, South America, Central and East Asia, Occupied Arab Territories. VIS is active in 71
diplomatic and consular offices.
As regards visa applications, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) is working on a project
to administer computerized visa applications. In this way, it will be possible to minimize the time
needed to evaluate the applications, ensuring considerable benefits in terms of management and
storage, while cutting documentation storage costs at the same time, especially in the main offices.
To improve the training of personnel dedicated to visas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has
launched three online training courses on visa policies in Italy and the European Union as well as
on the L-VIS system, which will be used more and more intensely. The Ministry is also updating its
website with a new web portal for visa applications, in order to improve the communication with
the 172 consular offices which currently issue entry visas.
As regards the cooperation with Schengen Countries, for the time being Italy does not
participate in any Common Application Centre (CAC).
3.5.2 Border Monitoring
Starting December 2nd 2013, Italy began to use the European Border Surveillance System
(EUROSUR), which allows for the exchange of data and facilitates the coordination of activities
and information exchange between national centres, Frontex and other important surveillance tools
like satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc., through a secure communication network.
86 EMN Italy, Fourth EMN Italy Report. Visa and irregular flows, IDOS, Rome, 2013.
After the tragic sinking of a vessel off the coast of Lampedusa, which caused the death of
more than 400 migrants87, the Justice and Home Affair Council met in Luxembourg on October 8th
2013, and decided in favor of strengthening the European External Borders Agency Frontex. This
will result in the creation of a large task-force comprised of Italy, the European Commission and
other agencies involved (Frontex, Europol and the EU External Action Service). During that
meeting, Commissioner Malmström proposed to “deploy an extensive Frontex search and rescue
operation which will cover the Mediterranean Sea”. The Commissioner recognized that “Frontex
and EUROSUR will allow us to intervene in the short term and address the most urgent
shortcomings but we also have to develop a medium to long strategy for a more effective
management of migratory flows.” The EU External Action Service will also need to “increase the
cooperation and dialogue with the countries of origin and transit of migrants, in order to open more
channels for legal migration and strike the criminals at the heart of their operation,” following the
example of the mobility partnership already concluded with Morocco.
Minister of the Interior Alfano who urged the EU to “adopt an integrated European
strategy”88 during a hearing before the Chamber of Deputies on the day after the tragedy of October
2013, has stated that Italy “obtained a strengthening of Frontex for a more effective maritime border
surveillance” aware that “the Lampedusa issue, as maritime border of the Mediterranean, is a
87 At least 400 migrants have died in the month of October alone, off the coast of Lampedusa. On October 3rd, near
Isola dei Conigli, a vessel with more than 500 people on board (mostly Ethiopians and Eritreans) caught fire, flipped
over and sank, causing 366 deaths. Only 157 people survived. On October 11th another tragedy occurred when a boat
capsized in the Sicilian Channel during rescue operations, causing almost 200 deaths (34 bodies were recovered, 10 of
whom were children, and 160 were reported missing); only 206 migrants, mainly coming from Syria, were saved.
88 See: Hearing of the Minister of Interior before the Chamber of Deputies of October 4th 2013. According to Alfano,
“immigration will be a central issue, and we will take the opportunity to insert the strategic topic of Italy as a “bridge of
the Mediterranean Sea” as a priority on the European agenda”.
4. INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION INCLUDING ASYLUM
4.1 International Protection Procedures
The Italian Asylum System consists of ten Territorial Commissions responsible for examining
and deciding on applications for international protection89. These bodies are coordinated by a
National Committee located in Rome.
In 2013, to ensure better management of applications for international protection and deal
with the increasing number of requests, modality for establishing new branch offices of the
Territorial Commissions were created90. Because of this, in case of an exceptional influx of asylum
seekers due to massive migration flows, new branch offices can be opened (up to a maximum of 10
in the whole country). During the year, 7 auxiliary branch offices have been established (2 in Rome,
2 in Syracuse, and 1 in Turin, Bari and Crotone respectively).
To promote greater efficiency of administrative procedures, Italy has continued to develop
and implement a national computerized system, launched in 2012, for the collection of applications
for international protection which allows for the direct acquisition of data in electronic form by the
Police Headquarters (Questure). The applications are then immediately forwarded to the competent
From the legislative point of view, in order to implement Directive 2011/95/EU91 (the so-
called “Qualification Directive”), the Government was delegated to recognize equality between the
two statuses of refugee and subsidiary protection and to regulate refusal, exclusion and revocation
procedures, in accordance with the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees92. The recent
Legislative Decree no. 18/201493, therefore, has standardized the treatment for the beneficiaries of
both statuses, and increased the duration of the residence permit for subsidiary protection to five
years. This Decree also allows beneficiaries of international and subsidiary protection to be
employed in the public sector, under the same conditions as EU citizens94.
As regards access to asylum procedures, during 2013, the national authorities continued to
promote internal training activities in the field of international protection, both for personnel of the
Finance Guard and the Italian Navy, which are constantly engaged in complex rescue operations at
sea, in a context characterized by “mixed flows” (i.e., the presence, on the same vessel, both of
asylum seekers, who must be protected, and other foreign nationals who have decided to migrate for
89 The list of the Territorial Commissions is available at this link: Territorial Commissions: Responsibilities and
90 See: Law no. 97 of the 6th of August 2013, Provisions for the implementation of the obligations arising from Italy’s
membership in the European Union (the so-called “European Law 2013”):
91 Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of the 13th of December 2011, on standards for
the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform
status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted.
92 See: law no. 96 of the 6th of August 2013 (the so-called “2013 European Delegation Law”), Delegation to the
Government for the transposition of European Directives and the implementation of other European Union acts.
93 Legislative Decree no. 18 of the 21st of February 2014, implementing Directive 2011/95/EU.
94 Such right is granted also to third-country nationals who are family members of EU citizens as well as third-country
nationals holders of an EC long-term residence permit (with the exception of positions and activities involving the
exercise of public authority or the protection of national security).
As regards the right to an interpreter, within the 2013 Annual Programme of the European
Refugee Fund (ERF), specific resources have been allocated to strengthen translation and
interpreting services at the Territorial Commissions95.
4.2 Reception of applicants for international protection
The Italian reception system for asylum seekers is an integrated system which follows a
multilevel organizational approach. It comprises of both the Ministry of the Interior, which is the
central coordination body that manages and finances the interventions, and the local authorities
involved in reception services.
The reception system, therefore, is divided into two sub-systems:
- The first one is managed by the Government and is composed of large reception
- the second one is a vast network of local centers scattered all over the territory,
managed by the so-called SPRAR96 (System for the Protection of Asylum Seekers and
Refugees) which manages and finances a series of small and medium interventions,
providing specific and personalized services.
Together with this ordinary reception system, specific flexible mechanisms are implemented
in cases of emergency, in order to cope with large incoming migratory flows. One of these operative
plans has been carried out by the National Civil Protection System for the “North-African
Emergency”, which started at the beginning of 2011 and has deeply affected the national reception
system for the following 2 years.
According to the EMN Report on the Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum
Seekers, which was published in 201397, on December 31st 2012 there were 13 reception facilities in
- 1 First Aid Centre,
- 3 First Aid and Reception Centers (CPSA), which can accommodate 781 people,
- 9 CDA/CARA, which can accommodate 4,029 people.
The reception conditions and the type of services offered vary according to the type of
facility. The Reception Centers (CDA or Centri di Accoglienza per migranti) and the Reception
Centers for Asylum Seekers (CARA or Centri di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo) are large
reception centers which can accommodate from 100 to 2,000 people. Inside the CDA/CPSA the
migrants receive first assistance and are photographed for identification purposes. Subsequently, the
asylum seekers are sent to a CARA center for the time necessary to evaluate their application.
95 65,076.00 euro have been allocated for 2,160 extra hours of interpreting and translation services, in addition to those
already provided (at an hourly cost of 30,13 euro).
96 See the institutional website: http://www.serviziocentrale.it/
97 See: The Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in different Member States
During 2012, 17,610 people have been accommodated in these centers (10,159 in the
CDA/CARA and 7,451 in the CPSA), and 7,823 were accommodated in SPRAR (225 more
compared to 2011) 98. The total number of accommodations made available was 3,97999. Compared
to the total number of accommodations financed in Italy, the regions with the highest number of
SPRAR centers were Sicily (892 accommodations, equal to 22.4% of the total); Lazio (494
accommodations, 12.4%); Apulia (334 accommodations, 8.4%); Emilia Romagna (322
accommodations, 8.1%) and Lombardy (285 accommodations, 7.2%). People accommodated by the
SPRAR network mostly come from Afghanistan (14.5% of the total, 1.6% more than compared to
2011); Somalia (9.1% of the total, 4,2% less than in 2011); Nigeria (8.4%); Pakistan (7.9%) and
Eritrea (7.8%). Male migrants are still the majority (80%), although in recent years the number of
women and children has increased.
It should be noted that in 2013, the accommodation capacity of the SPRAR has been
significantly increased in order to meet the growing demand for reception facilities. Moreover,
during the period 2014-2016, the total number of accommodations will be increased to 16,000100.
On September 4th 2013 the Ministry of the Interior published a call for proposals for reception
projects from local authorities for the period 2014-2016, which will be financed by the National
Fund for Asylum Policies and Services (FNPSA) within the SPRAR101. For the three year period,
456 reception projects have been approved, for a total of 20,000 accommodations financed. Of
these projects, 367 are for the reception of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection,
57 for unaccompanied foreign minors or holders of subsidiary protection, and 32 for people with
disabilities or mental illness.
In addition, as a result of the tragedies of October 3rd and 9th off the cost of Lampedusa, which
caused the deaths of many migrants during the crossing of the Mediterranean, the Council of
Ministers adopted urgent measures to deal with the exceptional influx of migrants into the country
as well as to manage their reception. The Decree Law no. 129 of October 15th, 2013102 established a
Fund at the Ministry of Interior, with an allocation of 190 million euro for the year 2013.
4.3 The integration of asylum applicants and persons with international protection status
The services provided in the large reception centers (CPSA, CDA, CARA) are diversified and
include, in accordance with the law, personal assistance services (accommodation and meals, health
care and psycho-social assistance, linguistic and cultural mediation, etc.), catering services, cleaning
and environmental hygiene services, maintenance of the centre and its facilities.
Furthermore, the SPRAR provides job orientation - and sometimes professional insertion -
services through job training programs, carried out in agreement with local authorities. It also
98 See: 2012-2013 Annual Report on the System for the Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Atlante SPRAR
99 Out of the total number accommodations for the reception of refugees and asylum seekers in the SPRAR centers,
3,000 were financed by the National Fund for Asylum Policies and Services (FNPSA), 163 by the so-called “Eight per
Thousand” and 816 by resources of the Civil Protection.
100 See: Decree of September 17th 2013 of the Head of the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration, adopted to
implement the Decree of the Ministry of Interior of July 30, 2013.,
101 Decree of the Ministry of Interior of July 30th, 2013
102 Law Decree no. 120 of October 15th 2013, Urgent measures for rebalancing the public finances and provisions in the
field of immigration.
provides support in finding autonomous accommodations. Particular attention is paid to the most
vulnerable subjects, such as victims of torture, sexual or gender violence, as well as people with
disabilities and/or with mental or psychological illness.
Thanks to the European Refugee Fund (EFR), specific attention has been paid to the topic of
social and labor insertion of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection, contributing to
the testing of a “third level” of intervention which should complement and integrate first reception
measures, as well as the essential services provided by the reception facilities (food, lodging,
information and mediation services, etc.). As part of a wide range of interventions103 , several
guidance services are provided to immigrants in order to direct them to second reception facilities
and services throughout the territory, such as language courses, vocational and professional
training, internships, housing intermediation, etc., aimed at facilitating their social and economic
Finally, the recent Legislative Decree 18/2014104 provides for the introduction of a new
planning tool for the interventions and measures promoting the integration of beneficiaries of
international protection. This national Plan will be drawn up by a national coordination committee
working at the Ministry of the Interior, composed of central, regional and local authorities and third
sector organizations. This plan will identify the lines of action to fight against racial discrimination
and achieve an effective integration of beneficiaries of international protection, with particular
regard to social and labor insertion, access to health care and welfare, housing, language training
4.4 Measures to implement aspects of the CEAS
Since the end of the 90’s, the European Union is committed to creating a Common European
System on Asylum, aimed at ensuring a common approach by the Member States on asylum and to
ensure high standards of protection for refugees. Between 1999 and 2005, during the first phase of
elaboration of this common system, several legislative measures bearing common minimum
standards were adopted, which still form the basis of the legislation on the matter. The main
legislative acts for the creation of the common system on asylum were the following:
- The Dublin Regulation II (Reg. (EU) no. 343/2003105,
- the so-called Reception Directive106,
- the so-called Procedures Directive107,
- the so-called Qualification Directive 108,
103 First aid services, information on asylum procedures and the application of the Dublin Regulation, legal advice and
assistance with administrative or legal procedures, language assistance, psycho-social assistance, reception, support and
orientation services for applicants of international protection who arrive in Italy through one of the main borders,
pursuant to the Dublin Regulation (both for vulnerable and non-vulnerable categories); the improvement and
strengthening of translation and interpreting services at the Territorial Commissions, etc.
104 Legislative Decree no. 18 of February 21st 2014, implementing Directive 2011/95/EU.
105 The Dublin Regulation (previously the Dublin Convention), is an EU law that determines the EU Member State
responsible to examine an application for asylum seekers seeking international protection.
106 Directive 2003/9/EC of the 27th of January 2003, laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum
seekers, implemented by the Legislative Decree 140/2005.
107 Directive 2005/85/EC of the 1st of December 2005, on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for
granting and withdrawing refugee status, implemented by the Legislative Decree 25/2008.
- the so-called Temporary Protection Directive109.
After the first phase, further development of the common system has been discussed. The
2007 Green Paper was the basis for a public consultation that led to the elaboration of the Action
Plan on Asylum, carried out by the European Commission and presented in 2008, and the updating
of the legislation, in order to introduce more flexible, fair and effective laws as well as to
consolidate a common policy on asylum. The second phase was completed in 2013 with the final
approval of new measures, which replaced the previous ones.
In particular, the new Qualification Directive was approved in 2011 and the other measures in
June 2013. The new measures intended to reform the entire matter, are the following:
- the Dublin Regulation III Reg. (EU) no. 604/2013, which entered into force on the 1st of
- the new Qualification Directive of the 13th of December 2011110;
- the new Reception Directive of the 26th of June 2013, which all Member States must
implement by July 20th 2015111;
- the new Procedures Directive of the 26th of June 2013, which all Member States must
implement within July 20th 2015112.
The legislative framework is completed by the new EURODAC Regulation (EU) No
603/2013 on the establishment of ‘Eurodac’ for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective
application of Regulation (EU) no. 604/2013, which replaced Reg. (EU) no. 2725/2000, and the
EASO Regulation (EU) No 439/2010/EC, establishing a European Asylum Support Office.
Italy is currently implementing this new “asylum package”. As previously noted, the
Legislative Decree no. 18/2014 implemented the new “Qualification Directive” of 2011. The other
two Directives of the so-called “asylum package (the Reception Directive and the Procedures
Directive) are to be implemented by July 2015. Such implementation is foreseen by the 2013
European Delegation Law, which is currently before the Chamber of Deputies113. The Draft Bill
delegates the Government to enact a Consolidated Text of provisions for the implementation of EU
laws in the field of asylum, subsidiary and temporary protection.
108 Directive 2004/83/EC of the 26th of April 2004, on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third
country nationals or stateless persons as refugees and the content of the protection granted, implemented by the
Legislative Decree 251/2007.
109 Directive 2001/55/EC of the 20th of July 2001, on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of
a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving
such persons and bearing the consequences thereof, implemented by the Legislative Decree 85/2003.
110 See: Directive 2011/95/EU.
111 See: Directive 2013/33/EU.
112 See: Directive 2013/32/EU.
113 See: Atto Camera: 1836, Draft bill: "Delegation to the Government for the transposition of European Directives and
the implementation of other European Union acts - 2013 European Delegation Law - second semester" (1836).
5. UNACCOMPANIED MINORS AND OTHER VULNERABLE GROUPS
5.1 Unaccompanied minors
As shown by the Mid-Term Report on the implementation of the Action Plan on
Unaccompanied minors 114 , the arrival of unaccompanied minors (UM) is not a temporary
phenomenon but a structural factor, which needs to be dealt with a common approach by the
European Union, including the prevention of unsafe migration and human trafficking, the
implementation of proper reception measures and the search for effective and lasting solutions.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, through the Committee for Foreign Minors, is
responsible for the analysis of the presence of unaccompanied minors in Italy. According to the
National Report on Unaccompanied Minors115 published on the 31st of December 2013, 8,461
unaccompanied minors were reported to the Committee. The top five nationalities of origin
represented 67.7% of the total: 1,415 Egyptians, 1,063 Bangladeshi, 779 Albanians, 551 Afghani,
475 Somalis. Almost 94% of reported UM are male. The phenomenon concerned almost entirely
minors over 15 (90% of the total); 55.1% of them (2% more than in 2012) had an estimated age of
more than 17 years; 23.4% were between 16 and 17 years old; whereas 11.7% were between 15 and
16116. 80% of minors reported to the Committee were hosted in a reception centre (6,319). The
other 2,142 were untraceable.
During 2013, an extensive analysis and updating of administrative procedures and documents
concerning UM was launched. On this regard, as a result of regulatory changes in recent years, the
Central Directorate for Immigration and Integration policies of the Ministry of Labor and Social
Policies has adopted the new “Guidelines on Unaccompanied minors”117. These Guidelines were
drawn up after a process of public consultation, which was initiated to simplify administrative
procedures and help define the rules of procedure relating to the activities of the census, family
surveys, assisted voluntary returns and the issuance of residence permits to unaccompanied minors
upon their coming of age. To better implement these “Guidelines”, specific attention was paid to the
international guidelines on the matter and particularly EU laws and Regulations118.
In addition, the protection of UM has been the subject of specific attention by the public and
civil society. In this regard, Save the Children Italy proposed a special Legislative Decree for a
114 Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Mid-term report on the implementation
of the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors.
116 This aspect deserves special attention, due to the limited accuracy of the current methods for age determination
which have a margin of error of 2 years
117 The final version of the “Guidelines on Unaccompanied Minors: competences/responsibilities of the Central
Directorate for Immigration and Integration Policies” was adopted by means of a Directorial Decree of 19 December
118 See in particular: the Council Resolution of the 26th of June 1997 on Unaccompanied Minors (97/C 221/03), the
Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors 2010-2014, the Mid-term report on the implementation of the Action Plan on
Unaccompanied Minors, the recent European Parliament Resolution of the 12th of September 2013 on the situation of
unaccompanied minors in the EU, the Recommendation CM Rec.(2007)9 of the Council of Europe, which defined the
“Life Projects for unaccompanied migrant minors”, and the General Comment no. 6 (2005) of the Committee on the
Rights of the Child, on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin.
comprehensive legislation on the protection and safety of unaccompanied minors119. The main
points of the law are the following: standardization of the procedures for the identifying of the
minor and the assessment of his/her age; establishing a national reception system with sufficient
accommodation and guaranteed quality standards; the creation of a national database to manage the
reception of minors arriving in Italy, based on the availability of accommodation at the various
reception facilities located in all regions, and according to the specific needs of the minors
Through various measures adopted during the year121, the Government has increased the
allotment of the National Fund for the Reception of Unaccompanied minors, established at the
Ministry of Labor and Social Policies and aimed at financing the cost of reception and protection of
UM incurred by local authorities122. The total allocation of the fund is 40 million euro.
Within the actions promoted by the Government for the protection of minors, the Round
Table on Unaccompanied minors has launched a project to create a computerized system for the
census and monitoring of the presence of unaccompanied minors in Italy (SIM). This on-line
system aims at tracing the reception paths of unaccompanied minors since their arrival in the
country, and will allow all stakeholders involved to access a shared database, exchange real-time
information and more efficiently organize the integration paths of minors.
5.2 Other vulnerable Groups
5.2.1 Victims of Domestic Violence
One of the most relevant measures taken to support the most vulnerable groups exposed to the
risk of exploitation or social isolation is the Law Decree 93/2013, which allows victims of domestic
violence to obtain a special residence permit to escape the violence123.
Implementing Art. 59 of the Convention of Istanbul, the new “Residence permit for domestic
violence” has been introduced in the Consolidated Text on Immigration (T.U.I.). This permit aims
to protect victims of all gender-based acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence
that occur within the family or domestic unit or between current of former spouses or partners124.
119 See the Legislative Decree drawn up by Save the Children Italy and presented before the Parliament on 25 July
120 These needs can also be identified on the basis of the so-called ‘cartella sociale’, a document drawn up by the social
worker conducting the interview with the minor, which determines the most appropriate solutions to be taken to better
ensure the child’s protection.
121 The Interministerial Decree of the 26th of June 2013 allocated 5 million euro. As a result of the tragedies of October
3rd and 9th 2013 off the cost of Lampedusa, which have caused the deaths of many migrants during the crossing of the
Mediterranean, Law Decree no. 120 of the 15th October 2013, “Urgent measures for rebalancing the public finances and
provisions in the field of immigration”, has increased by 20 million euro the allocation for the National Fund for the
reception of Unaccompanied Minors. Finally, the so-called Stability Law (law 147/2013) has increased total fund
allotment to 40 million euro for 2014.
122 The National Fund for the reception of Unaccompanied Minors, was created and placed under the responsibility of
the Ministry of Labour with art. 23, comma 11, of Law Decree no. 95 of the 6th of July 2012 converted by Law no. 135
of the 7th of August 2012.
123 Law Decree no. 93 of the 14th of August 2013 (published on the Official Gazette no. 191 of the 16th of August 2013),
converted with amendments by Law no. 119 of the 15th of October 2013.
124 See art. 18-bis of the Legislative Decree 286/1998, “Residence Permit for Victims of Domestic Violence”.
5.2.2 Unaccompanied minors victims of trafficking
As regards the serious problem of unaccompanied minor victims of trafficking, the Italian
Parliament has delegated the Government to fully implement Directive 2011/36/EU125 and adopt
specific interventions. On February 28th 2014, the Council of Ministers approved the relative
Legislative Decree126 , which set down the criteria by which unaccompanied minor victims of
trafficking must be readily identified, even by means of a multidisciplinary age verification
procedure conducted by qualified personnel and according to specific procedures.
Save the Children’s Report “Piccoli schiavi invisibili” (Little Invisible Slaves)127 outlined the
seriousness of the phenomenon of minor victims of trafficking and the urgent need to ensure rapid
institutional responses. In particular, the report focuses on the invisibility of the many minor victims
of trafficking and sexual exploitation: they are unknown to the authorities due to the use of forged
documents and their high mobility in the country and, also, because they are often moved through
hidden networks. In the last years, the main countries of origin of trafficked unaccompanied minors
have been Nigeria, Romania, Morocco, Egypt and China. The Report also provides a number of
recommendations to the government, the Department for Equal Opportunities at the Presidency of
the Council of Ministers and the Ministries responsible for the regularization, identification and
assistance of minor victims of trafficking and exploitation as well as for the full implementation of
The Impact Report128 has also underlined a fragmentation of policies to fight trafficking of
minors and group discrimination, as well as the absence of preventive measures.
Among the interventions which are currently promoted by the government, one of the most
important is the project financed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies for the development
and dissemination of innovative models and methods of intervention, in order to promote the
autonomy of unaccompanied minors and young migrant women at risk of social exclusion, through
the activation and consolidation of a territorial network of services and the experimentation of
personalized paths, which can increase the autonomy and integration of the recipients129.
5.2.3 Holders of a residence permit for humanitarian reasons and vulnerable groups
After the end of the North-African emergency, during which almost 25,000 refugees were
assisted130, reception measures continued to be provided for vulnerable groups131, such as: minors,
125 Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011, on preventing and combating
trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA.
126 Legislative Decree implementing Directive 2011/36/EU, on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings
and protecting its victims. See the text of the Decree and its explanatory report at:
127 “Piccoli schiavi invisibili – Dossier tratta”, edited by Save the Children Italy, 2013.
128 The Impact Report is edited by “Defence for children”; it analyzes the issue of trafficking and exploitation of minors
in Italy, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus.
130 See the summary of interventions adopted during 2012 as outlined by the Ministry of Interior Annamaria Cancellieri
during the hearing before the Extraordinary Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights of the
131 The classification of vulnerable categories is contained in art. 8, comma 1 of the Legislative Decree of the 30th of
May 2005, no. 104 which implements European Decree 2003/9/CE
the disabled, the elderly, pregnant women, single parents with minor children, people who have
suffered torture, rape and other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence132”.
5.2.4 Roma, Sinti and Camminanti
During the year 2013, the National strategy for Inclusion of Roma, Sinti and Camminanti
Communities adopted by UNAR (the National Office against Racial Discriminations of the
Presidency of the Council of Ministries) has been fully implemented, pursuant to the
Communication from the European Commission no. 173/2011133. The national strategy indicated
specific areas of action (education, training and access to employment, health and social services,
solutions and access to housing) and identified the priority issues for the political agenda, with the
objective of overcoming an emergency approach to the issue of social inclusion of Roma. Among
these measures, the report suggested the activation of specific joint inter-ministerial working groups
for the financial programming of interventions and the activation, at the UNAR, of a national
network of observers and local anti-discrimination offices, in at least 50% of regional territories.
132 See: Circular of the Ministry of Interior of the 1st of March 2013.
133 UNAR, National strategy for the Inclusion of the Roma, Sinti and Caminanti Communities.
6. ACTIONS ADDRESSING TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS
The reference context
According to the recent Report on Trafficking in Human Beings134, Italy is one of the main
countries of destination and transit for trafficking in human beings, both for sexual exploitation and
forced labor. Women and children victims of human trafficking mainly come from Eastern Europe,
the former Soviet Union, Nigeria, Latin America and China.
Currently, the institutions responsible for combating human trafficking and providing support
to the victims are unable to provide a systematic collection of data on victims of trafficking and
serious exploitation. As regards Italy, there are no comprehensive statistics on the extent of the
phenomenon and the areas of exploitation. The available data only covers people assisted by social
protection projects or who were granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons.
Although it is known that human trafficking is a difficult phenomenon to measure, the
practitioners of social associations involved in the field have recently underlined the importance of
launching a systematic data collection coordinated by the competent institutions and bodies.
Through the acquisition of data it could be possible to learn about the evolution of the phenomenon
and, subsequently, to develop appropriate policies for assisting victims, preventing human
trafficking and combating criminal organizations. In particular, the First Research Report on Human
Trafficking and Exploitation135 carried out by the Caritas Italiana and The National Coordinate on
Reception Communities (CNCA), provides an updated analysis of the activated services and
contains information and suggestions to ensure the full effectiveness of the mechanisms of
protection for victims of trafficking. The Position Paper published in 2013 by the Association of
Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) has also highlighted the need to ensure a correct
application of the laws already in force and to fully implement the European and International
regulations on the matter, in order to protect victims of human trafficking136.
Over the course of years, Italy’s system of legislative tools and interventions made it one of
the most advanced countries, both at the European and international levels, for the protection of
victims of human trafficking and the fight against the criminal phenomenon. The crime of human
trafficking was introduced in 2003137 and provides for imprisonment from 8 to 20 years (increased,
if the offense is committed against minors). Another important provision is the one contained in the
134 See: First Report on Trafficking in human Beings, edited by Eurostat and the Directorate General of Internal Affairs,
European Commission, 2013
135 See: Primo Rapporto di ricerca sulla tratta e il grave sfruttamento (2013), carried out together by the Italian Caritas
and the CNCA (National Coordination of Care Communities), in cooperation with Gruppo Abele and the Association
On the Road.
136 Position Paper Questioni maggiormente rilevanti in ordine alla legislazione italiana a tutela delle vittime di tratta,
edited by ASGI (2013)
137 See: Art. 601 of the Italian Penal Code, introduced by Law no. 228/2003.
Consolidated Text on Immigration (T.U.I.)138, according to which third-country nationals in need of
protection and assistance may be eligible for a residence permit for humanitarian reasons.
On April 6th 2013, the deadline for the transposition of the European Directive on preventing
and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims (2011/36/EU) expired. In
August 2013, the Parliament delegated the Government to put the Directive into practice through an
Implementing Legislative Decree, including specific criteria for its implementation139.
Consequently, on February 28th 2014 the Council of Ministers approved the legislative decree
for the transposition of the Directive 2011/36/EU140, which, among various measures, provides for
the implementation (within 3 months from the entry into force of the decree) of a National Action
Plan on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, aimed at defining multi-annual
strategies for preventing and combating the phenomenon as well as actions to raise awareness and
to promote social prevention, regularisation and integration of the victims.
The decree (whose implementation provisions will soon enter into force), has expanded the
definition of the crime of trafficking and has provided for the establishment of a unified program for
the regularisation, assistance and social integration of victims of trafficking, ensuring - on a
temporary basis - adequate conditions of housing, food and health care and allowing for the
continuation of assistance and social integration. A compensation is also paid to victims of
trafficking, thanks to the anti-trafficking Fund.
Other specific measures have been adopted to protect unaccompanied minor victims of
trafficking, who must be properly informed about their rights and undergo age verification (in case
of reasonable doubt as to their age) in accordance with their best interests, even by means of a
multidisciplinary age verification procedure conducted by qualified personnel and according to
specific procedures. Training courses will also be provided to public officials who may come in
contact with children victims (or potential victims) of trafficking.
The Institutional Framework and the measures adopted
The National System for the Protection and Social Integration of Victims of Trafficking,
which has been operating since 2000, is coordinated and financed by the Department for Equal
Opportunities141. It is based on three pillars of action: regularisation, identification/first assistance,
and social inclusion, each carried out through various means of intervention:
- A national anti-trafficking toll free number (800.290.290), which provides
information, orientation and assistance services.
138 See: Art. 18 of the Legislative Decree 286/98.
139 Law no. 96 of the 6th of August 2013, Delegation to the Government for the transposition of European Directives
and the implementation of other European Union acts - 2013 European Delegation Law.
140 Legislative Decree implementing Directive 2011/36/EU, on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings
and protecting its victims. See the text of the Decree and its explanatory report at:
141 The Department of Equal Opportunities at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers is the central body responsible
for the coordination of actions for the prevention and combating of trafficking in persons, as well as for the assistance
and social re-integration of the victims.
- A first assistance program for victims of trafficking and exploitation, pursuant to art.
13 of the Law no. 228/2003.
- A social assistance and integration program for reasons of protection, pursuant to art.
18 of the Leg. Dec. 286/98.
According to official data, between 2000 and 2012, more than 65,000 people received support
from social protection projects (information, psychological counseling, legal advice, health and
social assistance). In addition, 21,378 victims of trafficking benefited from a program of social
As regards the assistance to victims, since 2000 a network of projects has been promoted in
order to provide services and assistance measures to a considerable number of victims. First
assistance programs (the so-called “art. 13 projects”) and programs for aid and social integration
(the so-called “art. 18 projects”), co-financed by the Department for Equal Opportunities and
carried out by the local authorities and authorized private organizations, are active all over the
Italian territory, although with structural differences from region to region. Specific insights into the
institutional actions undertaken and the projects for the protection and social integration (art. 18)
which have been funded in the last 12 years142 are available on the website of the Department for
Equal Opportunities, in the section devoted to the issue of combating trafficking143. The website
also contains an evaluation report on social protection projects (both “art. 18” and “art. 13”)
financed between 2000 and 2007144.
Regarding the fight against traffickers, during a summit on the immigration crisis, convened
as a result of the tragic sinking of a vessel carrying hundreds of migrants off the coast of
Lampedusa, on October 3rd 2013, the Government announced the launch of the “Mare Nostrum”
rescue operation, a military and humanitarian operation to boost our surveillance and rescue system
on the high seas.
The most important bilateral agreement with a country of origin is the one signed with
Romania, where the majority of victims of human trafficking present in Italy come from. In this
regard, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Department for Equal
Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Labour and the Italian
regions, and the Romanian ministry for Labour, Family and Equal Opportunities, in Bucharest, on
July 9th, 2008. This agreement provides for the cooperation and coordination of activities related to
the fight against human trafficking and the protection of its victims, carried out through the
European Social Fund (for the period 2007-2013).
142 Report on the projects for protection and social integration - art. 18 of the Leg. Dec. 286/98
143 Department of Equal Opportunities – human trafficking section
144 See Report: “Dati e riflessioni sui progetti di protezione sociale ex art. 18 D.lgs 286/98 ed art. 13 Legge 228/2003
Dal 2000 al 2007”
7. MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY
In April 2013, with the appointment of the Letta Government, the responsibility for
international cooperation for development, which was previously entrusted to the Ministry for
Integration, has been assigned to the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli.
During the previous legislature, with regard to the debate on the amendment of the law no.
49/1987 (“New discipline of Italian cooperation with developing countries”) which was also
discussed at the “Forum on international cooperation” held in Milan in October 2012, a
Consolidated Text drawn up by the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Italian Senate (“Reform of
the legislative framework for Development Cooperation and International Solidarity”) was
approved in December of the same year. This new reform, however, remained stalled due to the fall
of the Monti government. In the three months following the general elections of March 2013, three
draft bills have been proposed by members of the Partito Democratico (PD), Sinistra Ecologia e
Libertà (SEL) and Scelta Civica per l’Italia (SCpI), which are still before the Commission for
Foreign Affairs of the Senate. These draft bills, which refer to the governmental experience of
international cooperation accrued by OECD and EU Countries, provide for the appointment of a
high-level political representative who would be responsible for the issue145, and the establishment
of a specific inter-ministerial committee (CIC, Committee for International Cooperation), which
would be responsible for the coordination of cooperation activities among the various departments.
The bills also propose the creation of a unified Conference on Cooperation to promote consultation
with public and private stakeholders.
Despite the clear interest shown by many politicians and third sector organizations in the
rapid adoption of a new law, its approval is still conditioned on the current Italian political situation.
In 2013, the Italian Government also paid particular attention to the issue of remittances.
Firstly, the Guidelines and Programming Policies “Italian Development Cooperation 2013-2015”
were published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This policy document aims at reducing the
average global cost of remittances in the next three years, according to a proposal made during the
G8 Summit in L’Aquila (2009) and reiterated by the G20 Summit in Cannes (2011). Secondly, Italy
participated at the 2013 Global Forum on Remittances organized by the International Fund for
Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank, in May 2013, stressing out the importance
of reducing the average global cost of remittances in order to improve their impact on economic and
social development of countries of origin. Thirdly, Italy has confirmed its support for the actions of
international monitoring entrusted to the Global Remittances Working Group of the World Bank.
These efforts were complemented, at the national level, by the research activities of the
National Observatory for the Financial Inclusion of Migrants, which has, among its priorities, the
145 The most interesting proposal provides for a Minister for International Cooperation who would be appointed by the
Prime Minister, and the creation of a Department for Cooperation at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
Alternatively, the responsibility would be assigned to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which would be renamed:
“Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation”. In the latter case, the responsibility for the matter would
be delegated to a vice Minister, who would participate in all meetings of the Council of Ministers that might deal with
or affect, either directly or indirectly, the coherence and effectiveness of development cooperation policies.
monitoring of remittance costs. Launched in 2012, thanks to the collaboration of the Italian Banking
Association (ABI) and the Ministry of Interior, and financed through the European Integration Fund
for Third-Country Nationals, during its 2 years of activity, the Observatory has published two
Annual Reports containing a quantitative analysis of the bancarization levels of migrants, through
the study of the mechanisms of microfinance and the phenomenon of immigrant entrepreneurship.
The latest survey, based on 2011 data, has shown high rates of use of bank instruments and
electronic payment instruments by third-country nationals living in the country, with a positive
trend on the balance of their bank accounts, compared to 2010 (+8%). As regards banking offers,
Italian banks and money transfer operators are collaborating in order to complement the traditional
banking products (bank accounts and payment cards) with a remittance service which is best suited
to customer needs. In addition, a particularly innovative solution is that of the so-called Twin Cards,
two rechargeable payment cards, one of which is payable to the bearer and can be sent to a family
member living abroad who can use it to receive money by means of periodic recharges. Another
similar solution is the so-called Twin Bank Account, one in Italy and one at a bank of the migrant’s
country of origin, both of which can be operated by the owner at the same time146.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning the project Greenback 2.0 – Remittance Champion
Cities of the World Bank, in partnership with the City of Turin, which has been fully implemented
in 2013, after the initial phase ended in 2012. The project aims at increasing transparency and
efficiency in the market for remittance services through actions of financial education, information,
awareness and the implementation of best practices, both for migrants and market players147.
Finally, the average cost of transferring remittances, after a slight decrease, increased again in
the last quarter of 2013 to reach almost the same value of 2012 (7.42% compared to 7.47% of the
last quarter of 2012) 148. In addition, according to data provided by the Bank of Italy, in 2012 the
total volume of remittances was equal to 6.8 billion euro (16.7% of all remittances in the EU-27),
7.6% less (562 million euro) than in 2011 (when the total amount of remittances reached 7.4 billion
As regards the involvement of diasporas in the paths of co-development, several national and
local projects for co-development have been launched, with an extensive involvement of the third
Within the program Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA), promoted by the Italian
Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italian Cooperation for Development) together with IOM
– which, since 2013, has contributed to the implementation of several important interventions aimed
at enhancing the role of migrants in the development of Africa – a specific Program in favor of
Somalia has been planned by the MAE. The first phase, which ended in 2012, has helped to
enhance the role of Somali women in Italy for the stabilization and the social rehabilitation of their
country, as well as to assess their ability to create networks to launch and sustain viable social
149 Luatti L., Le rimesse nel mondo nel sesto anno di crisi, in UNAR-IDOS, Dossier Statistico Immigrazione 2011,
IDOS, Rome, 2013, pp. 39-46.
initiatives in Somalia. The new intervention, which was carried out following consultations with the
Somali Diaspora on the previous project, aims at supporting co-development initiatives and/or the
creation of partnerships for decentralized cooperation. The initiatives by the Somali Diaspora will
concern in particular the agricultural sector (small scale productions and small supply chains),
health care and medical assistance in maternity and children hospitals located in refugee camps and
areas with a high percentage of displaced people.
The organizational support to Senegalese associations in Milan was the content of the project
Camminare insieme (“Walk Together”) promoted by the ACLI-Ipsia network of the municipality of
Milan and financed by the National Fund for Migration Policies. The objective of the project was to
improve organizational and managerial skills of the Federation of Senegalese Associations of
Northern Italy (FASNI) and other affiliated Senegalese associations, through the creation of a stable
partnership network with Milan’s ACLI in order to facilitate joint local initiatives on co-
development and integration150.
Finally, as regards the specialized diaspora, the project “Rete in Diaspora” launched by the
Association ICSE & Co (International Center for Southern Europe) and the School of Political
Science “Cesare Alfieri” of the University of Florence and financed by the Region of Tuscany, aims
to promote the development of brain gain and brain circulation dynamics, helping Albanian
graduates to enter the labor market in Albania or to better integrate themselves in Italy. The project
involves the creation of a central database containing multilateral information on foreign skilled
workers, as well as an inter-university and inter-institutional network between Italy and Albania.
This network aims at facilitating the mobility of Albanian students in Tuscan universities and the
availability of specialized human resources who can be traced in Italy by private companies and
professional associations interested in the Albanian market, due to their needs for trade and
investment in the Balkans151.
8. IRREGULAR MIGRATION
The context of reference
Estimating the total number of illegal immigrants in Italy is not an easy task. However, as
shown by the numerous studies on the subject, illegal immigration is closely linked to the
overstaying phenomenon (i.e., those migrants who have legally entered the Italian territory and stay
beyond the period sanctioned by the authorities) 152.
At the legislative level, since the adoption in 1998 of the Consolidated Text on Immigration
(T.U.I.), combating illegal immigration is one of the three pillars on which the Italian legislation on
immigration bases itself (the other two being the rules governing the entry and residence in the
country). The system to combat irregular migration flows is based on several successive stages, as
follows: - Preventive control measures and bilateral agreements with countries of origin.
- Border control and rejection measures.
- Measures to identify illegal immigrants in the country (identification,
detention and repatriation interventions).
As regards the bilateral cooperation with countries of origin, several law enforcement
agreements are currently in force with 40 foreign countries153, aimed at developing a joint action to
combat the exploitation of irregular migration and trafficking in human beings.
Other readmission agreements are also in force with 30 foreign countries (15 with EU
countries, and 15 with third countries154), in order to carry out the repatriation of illegal immigrants
identified in the country.
In the 2013 Programmatic Report of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on Italy’s
participation in the European Union155, the Government has indicated “its intention to continue the
negotiations with Morocco and Tunisia, aimed at defining mobility and security partnerships with
those countries and encouraging similar partnerships with other North African countries, in order to
promote a joint management of migration flows”.
The Central Directorate for Immigration and Border Police of the Ministry of Interior,
established in 2002, is responsible for obtaining and analyzing information on surveillance
activities, as well as preventing and combating illegal immigration. Since February 15th, 2012 a
National Coordination Center has been established at the aforementioned Central Directorate,
composed of personnel of the State Police, the Finance Guard, Carabinieri, the Italian Navy and the
152 According to the Fourth EMN Italy Report Migration Channels – Visa and Irregular Flows, 2012 (IDOS, Rome,
2013), “irregular migration, given the concomitant effect of recent regulatory changes and the impact of the crisis, is
likely to be reduced, both quantitatively and also on its impact on regular presence, and it is estimated up to 1st January
around 10% of the nearly 5 million foreigners regularly present in Italy”.
153 See. Fourth EMN Italy Report, loc. cit.
154 Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Egypt, Macedonia, Georgia, Philippines, Morocco, Moldova,
Nigeria, Serbia and Montenegro, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tunisia. Fonte: IV Rapporto EMN.
155 2013 Programmatic Report : http://www.politicheeuropee.it/attivita/18417/relazione-annuale-2013
Coast Guard. This Center coordinates the police and military forces engaged in the control of
national borders to combat illegal immigration, managing the information related to illegal
immigration by sea.
There are 13 Centers for Identification and Expulsion156 (CIE) currently operating in the
country. The CIE are facilities for the detention of irregular immigrants subject to an expulsion
order (in case the order cannot be carried out immediately). The detention, which must be validated
by the court, can last for 30 days and can be extended up to a maximum of 18 months in total, when
the verification of the identity and nationality of the migrants is particularly difficult.
The Measures Adopted
According to the latest data available157, in 2012, 35,872 third-country citizens were identified
as irregular immigrants for failing to comply with the Italian legislation on immigration: 18,952 of
them were expelled from the country, 6,764 were rejected at the border and 11,828 were repatriated.
Moreover, 17,280 third-country nationals received an expulsion order but did not comply with it.
Thanks to the European External Borders Fund, investment in technological equipment
continued, in order the promote control activities by the State Police, the Police Guard, the Italian
Navy, the Coast guard and the diplomatic-consular network of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
with the objective of ensuring the uniform application of European rules governing the movement
of persons across borders, as specified in particular by Regulation (EC) no. 562/2006. In particular,
a monitoring and information gathering system (known as System to Analyze Maritime Traffic, or
SATM) was established with the objective of coordinating activities to combat irregular migration,
in addition to the existing Integrated System to combat irregular immigration by sea (SIA). Several
training and professional updating courses for the staff involved in surveillance and law
enforcement activities have also been financed. The budget allocated by the 2013 Annual
Programme is 105,575,880 euro158.
The “Mare Nostrum” search and rescue operation, which was launched on October 15th to
deal with the immigration crisis, provides for a significant increase in monitoring and surveillance
activities in the area, by using 2 Navy patrol boats and 2 frigates, an amphibious ship, long-range
helicopters with infrared optical sensors and drones.
Since December 2nd, Italy started to use the European Border Surveillance System
(EUROSUR) which allows for the exchange of data and facilitate the coordination of activities and
information exchange between National Centres, Frontex and other important surveillance tools,
such as satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, through a secure communication network.
156 See the list at the Institutional website of the Ministry of Interior (www.interno.gov.it)
157 Source: IDOS – Study and Research Center. Based on Ministry of Interior data, in: UNAR-IDOS, 2013 Statistical
Dossier on Immigration, Rome (2013).
158 See: Institutional website of the European External Borders Fund.
The Decree of the Ministry of Interior of the 23rd of July 2013159 identified the technical
specifications and safety rules of the electronic residence permit, made in accordance with the
technical requirements of the uniform format laid down by Regulation (EC) no. 1030/2002. The
electronic residence permit is equipped with a contactless microprocessor (Ics) and radio frequency
technology. It contains the personal data of the applicant or holder of the permit, the document
identification data and biometrics, both primary (facial recognition) and secondary (fingerprints).
The national database on residence permits established at the National Electronic Database (CEN)
is used for issuance, renewal, cancellation, revocation and control activities.
Measures to fight irregular employment
In 2013, with the entry into force of the Decree no. 109 of July 16th 2012, the Government
continued to verify the applications for regularization of undeclared work submitted by employers
of irregular third-country nationals. The Decree was adopted to implement Directive 2009/59/EC on
minimum standards and sanctions and measures against employers of illegal staying third-country
nationals, and contained a comprehensive series of provisions, such as increased penalties for
employers of illegal staying third-country nationals and the introduction of aggravating
circumstances in the case of exploitation of workers and the use of child labor. At the same time,
third-country workers who are irregularly residing in the country and employed in particularly
exploitative working conditions may be entitled to a residence permit for humanitarian reasons if
they report the employer’s unlawful behavior and actively cooperate with the competent authorities.
During the transitional phase of implementation of the new regulations, in order to fight undeclared
work, the Decree provided for a temporary regularization procedure which allowed employers to
settle and regularize past employment relationships, before the introduction of a new and more
severe penalty system. Specific requirements and limitations (relating to the duration of the
employment, the salary, as well as the status of both the employer and the foreign worker) were
introduced in order to access the regularization procedure.
In total, between September 15th and October 15th 2013, 134,576 regularization applications
were submitted: 116,108 for employment in the domestic sector and 18,658 for employment in
other sectors. As of September 2nd 2013, the number of approved applications was 56,914, equal to
42% of the total.
The public opinion and information campaigns
The issue of illegal immigration has been debated frequently, dividing the Italian public
opinion. On the one hand, citizens feel the need to combat the phenomenon and to increase the
effectiveness of the repressive measures; on the other hand, however, public opinion has expressed
concern about the conditions of irregular migrants detained in the Centers for Identification and
Expulsion (CIE)160. Another aspect of the debate are the high costs incurred for carrying out the
repressive measures and the repatriation of illegal immigrants, which are much higher than all the
159 Decree of the Ministry of the Interior of the 23rd of July 2013 on security rules relative to residence permits.
160 See the national campaign promoted by the National Federation of Journalists (FNSI) and Italy’s Order of Journalists
funds allocated for integration measures for the third-country nationals legally residing in Italy
(who are the vast majority).
In particular, according to recent research161, between 2005 and 2012 the estimated total
expenditure for the control of external borders, the management of the entire system of reception
centers for illegal immigrants, the cooperation with third-countries to combat illegal immigration,
the development of technological systems used in surveillance activities and for the identification of
migrants, and the implementation of return programs was equal to 1.668 billion euro (with an
average annual expenditure of 238 million euro).
To provide proper and unbiased information on immigration, the National Federation of
Italian Journalists (FNSI) and Italy’s Order of Journalists have promoted an awareness campaign
aimed at promoting the implementation of the so-called “Carta di Roma”, a protocol of ethics that
journalists must adhere to when describing the phenomenon of immigration in Italy.
161 Costi disumani. La spesa pubblica per il “contrasto dell’immigrazione irregolare (Lunaria, Rome, 2013).
In Italy, assisted voluntary return (AVR) was initially formally provided for victims of human
trafficking with Law no. 286/1998 and for other categories with Law no. 189/2002. Eligible groups
for the assisted voluntary return programmes could be easily divided into two large categories:
1. Humanitarian emergencies and asylum: holders of a permit for temporary
humanitarian protection and displaced persons, asylum applicants, refugees, as well as people who
have renounced applying for asylum or who have been denied the status of refugee or another form
of temporary protection as well as former Dublin Convention cases;
2. Trafficking victims and humanitarian cases: groups of migrants in a state of
vulnerability, trafficking victims, humanitarian cases, unaccompanied minors and stranded migrant
Before 2011, assisted voluntary return was denied to irregular migrants with the exception of
those considered to be particularly vulnerable (the elderly, single mothers, people with mental or
physical illness). However, in 2011 the “Return Directive” was implemented in Italy through
Decree Law no. 89, which extended voluntary return to those irregular third-country nationals who
have been granted a term of 7 to 30 days by the Prefect to return to their country of origin. Only the
following categories remain excluded: those who endanger public order and national security; who
are at risk of absconding; who are subject to a removal order of the court; who violate the security
measures imposed by the “Questore” (public security authority at provincial level); who violate the
terms of voluntary return. Moreover, in 2013 the Ministry of the Interior provided clarification on
access to AVR programmes for third-country nationals irregularly present on Italian soil through
Circular no. 448, stating that a preventive adoption of expulsion measures is not mandatory in order
to access a AVR programme.
The Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the 28th of February 2013 allows
for international protection status holders (from North African countries who entered Italy between
the 1st of January and the 5th of April 2013) to request voluntary assisted return to their country of
origin, or convert their residency permit into a work, family, study and/or professional training
permit before the 31st of March 2014. In either case, their humanitarian permission to remain will be
extended until the conclusion of conversion or assisted return procedures. However, for those
beneficiaries who do not select one of the abovementioned options, case by case provisions will be
made for their expulsion or removal from national territory.
As regards regulatory changes in the field of assisted voluntary returns (AVR), the Circular of
the Ministry of Interior no. 448/2013162 has clarified that third-country nationals illegally present in
the country can access AVR programs regardless of the existence of a previous expulsion order.
Since the establishment of the Return Fund163, organizations responsible for assisted voluntary
return programmes have been organized in the Italian Network for Voluntary Assisted Return
162 Circular of the Ministry of Interior no. 448 of 7 January 2013, Art 14 ter – Assisted voluntary returns: suspension of
refoulement, expulsion and re-entry ban orders.
(RIRVA) 164 which has now reached its fifth year of existence. RIRVA provides information and
orientation services on AVR. It promotes cooperation between public and private contact points for
migrants on a national level in order to improve the efficiency of access to and implementation of
AVR procedures. To this end, a communication campaign has been developed to promote AVR and
a national call-centre has been set up. The Network’s official website also provides additional
multilingual information and a Help Desk service for return. The RIRVA network is composed of
public and private entities (local institutions, non-governmental organizations, IOM) who
participate in reinforcing the Italian referral system on AVR, in collaboration with the Ministry of
Interior. 330 inter-institutional bodies are currently participating in the network, providing wide-
ranging services throughout the country165. The Network operates through a multilevel strategy and
is constituted by staff at the National level, Regional Branches and Local Information and
Awareness-raising Local Points.
Several AVR projects have been financed through the resources of the 2012 Annual Program
of the European Return Fund (ERF). They provided for the repatriation of 1,910 people, to be
carried out by June 30th 2014. During the first semester of 2013, 629 migrants have benefited from
AVR programs, divided among several projects 166 (Partir IV, Mirave, Remida II, Mirave II,
Remploy I), which aim to help the following categories of recipients: migrants in vulnerable
situations; irregular migrants (or migrants who are at risk of becoming irregular); migrants of
specific groups which have a particular risk of becoming irregular. Through these projects, the
following services will be provided: pre-departure orientation and counselling; the creation of a
reintegration plan; travel arrangements, payment of airfare, accompanying the person to the airport
of departure; financial aid at departure for immediate expenses; support for the implementation of
reintegration projects through the provision of goods and services to the migrant (either single or
family) in the country of origin.
Among the projects and incentives for migrants, the so-called “measures to favour exit paths”
are provided to third-country nationals holders of a residence permit for humanitarian reasons
granted as a result of the North-African emergency. With the end of the emergency, exit paths167
have been provided to people previously accommodated in reception centers, including
beneficiaries of AVR programs, which have been entrusted to the International Organisation for
164 Italian Network Assisted Voluntary Return, see the institutional website: http://www.reterirva.it/
167 See the Circular of the Ministry of Interior, Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration of 18 February 2013
10. IMPLEMENTATION OF EU LEGISLATION
During the year 2013, several steps were taken towards the implementation of three European
Directives (2011/51/EU, 2011/36/EU and 2011/95/EU). In two of these cases, implementation was
finalized at a later moment in 2014, as we have mentioned in previous parts of this report.
EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE 2011/51/EU
The Legislative Decree of the 17th of December 2013 adopted the Draft Legislative Decree which
was presented a few days after the tragedy of Lampedusa, in the framework of a series of measures
intended to deal with the immigration emergency. The decree, among other things, provides for the
creation of a Fund at the Ministry of Interior, with an allotment of 190 million euro for 2013. The
Legislative Decree implemented the European Directive 2011/51/EU of November 25th 2013,
which extends the issuance of EC long-term residence permits also to refugees and beneficiaries of
international protection. Both these categories were not yet eligible for this type of residence permit.
The Directive aimed at promoting mobility and integration in the EU for beneficiaries of subsidiary
protection, under the same conditions as other third-country nationals. In addition, the Decree
established that the long-term residence permit will remain valid even in case of loss of
international protection status. Law no. 96 of the 6th of August 2013 (the so-called European
Delegation Law) had already established several criteria that were later included in the Decree. First
of all, the period of stay will commence from the date on which the application for international
protection was submitted, therefore the period of time between request and approval of protection
will be taken into consideration for the acquisition of the status of long-term resident. In addition, to
acquire the status of long-term resident, the beneficiaries of international protection will only have
to prove a sufficient income, which is going to be evaluated taking account of the potential state of
the particular vulnerability in which many beneficiaries of international protection may find
themselves. Furthermore, one of the measures introduced by the Law no. 96/2013 to better integrate
the beneficiaries of international protection and third-country nationals, once they acquire the status
of EC long-term residents, will allow them to work for the public administration under the same
conditions as EU citizens168.
European Directives 2011/36/EU and 2011/95/EU
During 2013 were not yet implemented into the Italian legislation the European Directives
2011/36/EU of the 5th of April 2011 “on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and
protecting its victims” (which replaced Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA) and
2011/95/EU of the 13th of December 2011 “on standards for the qualification of third-country
nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for
refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection
granted”. However, the Law no. 96/2013 169 , which delegated the transposition of European
Directives to the Government by means of the adoption of specific legislative decrees, also includes
168 With the exception of positions and activities involving the exercise of public authority or the protection of national
security. This provision is intended to solve two litigation procedures opened by the Commission: cases EU Pilot no.
1769/11/JUST and no. 2368/11/HOME.
169 Law no. 96 of 6 August 2013, Delegation to the Government for the transposition of European Directives and the
implementation of other European Union acts – “2013 European Delegation Law
the implementation of these two European Directives, together with the criteria for their full
implementation which will need to be included in the legislative decrees. Among the changes that
will be introduced by the Government, with respect to the Directive 2011/95/EU, we can mention
the following: the legal status of refugees and beneficiary of subsidiary protection will be merged; a
policy instrument containing a series of measures and activities aimed at promoting the integration
of refugees will be introduced; the refusal, exclusion and revocation of refugee status will be settled
in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1951 relating to the status of Refugees. Following the
Directive 2011/36/EU, the Government will not only integrate its legislation on combating
trafficking in human beings, but will also adopt all the necessary measures to implement the
provisions on assistance to the victims, including the appointment of a national rapporteur who will
carry out assessments of trends in trafficking in human beings, in order to facilitate the coordination
between the institutions involved in the protection and assistance of victims of trafficking in human
beings and those responsible for international protection.
Annex 1 - Methodology
This Report is aimed at presenting the situation of asylum and migration policies in Italy in a
correct but simple way, so that it could be understandable to non-specialized readers as well as to
non-Italian ones. It meets the requirements of EMN programme, which intends to promote at the
EU level the knowledge of the experiences of the different national contexts.
Such a large and general analysis also reveals another challenging purpose: emphasizing the role of
the EMN network, whose juridical basis was established by the Council Decision of May 14, 2008
(2008/381/EC). In Italy, the Ministry of Interior is the responsible body for this EU program. Its
technical support is represented by the IDOS Study and Research Centre, which comprises the
editorial staff of the UNAR-IDOS “Statistical Dossier on Immigration” – the first statistical report
on immigration published in Italy.
The methodology is both socio-statistical and juridical. We tried, in fact, to analyze the current
policy measures on migration and, when necessary, evaluate their implementation by examining the
Presenting and summarizing the contents of this edition has been quite problematic. In fact, it is
intended not to join the political debate on migration, which notoriously is a controversial issue, but
to simply present the situation by taking into account in-depth examinations by researchers and the
institutions themselves, in order to find out their “minimum common denominator”.
The bibliography examined for this report derives from institutions: it includes periodical
publications edited by relevant bodies, such as the Ministry of Interior, the Central Service of the
Protection System for Asylum Seekers, the CNEL and others.
Furthermore, we had the possibility to make use of other in-depth examinations and analyses
conducted during the last years by the Italian National Contact Point for the EMN network: such
publications examined various aspects, such as irregular migration, return migration, the social
impact of migration, highly qualified migration, the reception system for asylum applicants, etc.
Some of these studies became largely spread due to their press or online publication
(www.emnitaly.it), in particular among the various structures, researchers and other persons
Some institutional web pages (first of all the website of the Ministry of Interior www.interno.it), the
review of the main Italian papers and other sources of information turned out to be very useful in
completing a precise and updated framework.
Annex 2 – Definitions
Glossary of terms relating to Asylum
Definitions are derived from the “Asylum and Migration Glossary”, a juridical and linguistic tool
created and published by the EMN network in order to encourage appropriate communication on
migration and asylum, containing common definitions and terminology used in the EU acquis
(EMN Italy, Glossario EMN Migrazione e Asilo, Idos, Rome, 2011. See: www.emnitaly.it/ev-
Asylum (Application for)
The application made by a third-country
national or a stateless person which can be
understood as a request for international
protection from a Member State, under the
Asylum (Right of)
The right of the State, in virtue of its
territorial sovereignty and in the exercise of
its discretion, to allow a non-national to enter
and reside, and to resist the exercise of
jurisdiction by any State over that individual.
Displaced Person (Internally)
A person or groups of persons who have been
forced or obliged to flee or to leave their
homes or places of habitual residence, in
particular as a result of or in order to avoid
the effects of armed conflict, situations of
generalized violence, violations of human
rights or natural or human-made disasters, and
who have not crossed an internationally
recognized State border.
Regulation which lays down the criteria and
mechanisms for determining the Member
State responsible for examining an application
for asylum lodged in one of the Member
States by a third-country national.
A core principle of international Refugee Law
that prohibits States from returning refugees
in any manner whatsoever to countries or
territories in which their lives or freedom may
Human rights abuses or other serious harm,
often, but not always, with a systematic or
A concept that encompasses all activities
aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights
of the individual in accordance with the letter
and spirit of human rights, refugee and
international humanitarian law.
A form of protection nowadays normally
replaced by Subsidiary Protection. In Italy,
this is a different concept from Subsidiary
In the EU context, encompasses the refugee
and subsidiary protection status.
The protection given to a third-country
national or a stateless person who does not
qualify as a refugee but in respect of whom
substantial grounds have been shown for
believing that the person concerned, if
returned to his or her country of origin, or in
the case of a stateless person, to his or her
country of former habitual residence, would
face a real risk of suffering serious harm and
is unable, or, owing to such risk, unwilling to
avail himself or herself of the protection of
A procedure of exceptional character to
provide, in the event of a mass influx or
imminent mass influx of displaced persons
from third countries who are unable to return
to their country of origin, immediate and
temporary protection to such persons, in
particular if there is also a risk that the asylum
system will be unable to process this influx
without adverse effects for its efficient
operation, in the interests of the persons.
According to the Geneva Convention, a
person who, owing to a well-founded fear of
being persecuted for reasons of race, religion,
nationality, political opinion or membership
of a particular social group, is outside the
country of nationality and is unable or, owing
to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself or
herself of the protection of that country, or a
stateless person, who, being outside of the
country of former habitual residence for the
same reasons as mentioned before, is unable
or, owing to such fear, unwilling to return to
Refugee (de facto)
Person not recognised as a refugee and who is
unable or unwilling for political, racial,
religious or other valid reasons to return to
their country of origin.
Glossary of terms relating to Migration
Definitions are derived from the “Asylum and Migration Glossary”, a juridical and linguistic tool
created and published by the EMN network in order to encourage appropriate communication on
migration and asylum, containing common definitions and terminology used in the EU acquis
(EMN Italy, Glossario EMN Migrazione e Asilo, Idos, Rome, 2011. See: www.emnitaly.it/ev-
Acquisition of citizenship
Any mode of becoming a national, i.e. by
birth or at any time after birth, automatic or
non-automatic, based on attribution,
declaration, option or application.
In the EU context, a person who is not a
national of a Member State of the European
The removal of:
(a) a third-country national subject to an
Expulsion Decision based on a serious and
present threat to public order or to national
security and safety, taken in the following
- conviction of a third-country national by
the issuing Member State for an offence
punishable by a penalty involving deprivation
of liberty of at least one year;
- the existence of serious grounds for
believing that a third-country national has
committed serious criminal offences or the
existence of solid evidence of his intention to
commit such offences within the territory of a
(b) a third-country national subject to an
Expulsion Decision based on failure to
comply with national rules on the entry or
residence of aliens.
The establishment of a family relationship
which is either:
(a) the entry into and residence in a Member
State, in accordance with Council Directive
2003/86/EC, by family members of a third-
country national residing lawfully in that
Member State ("sponsor") in order to preserve
the family unit, whether the family
relationship arose before or after the entry of
the sponsor; or
(b) between an EU national and third-country
national established outside the EU who then
subsequently enters the EU.
The immigration of a person to a new place of
residence using irregular or illegal means,
without valid documents or carrying false
In the EU context, a dynamic, two-way
process of mutual accommodation by all
immigrants and residents of Member States.
A broader-term of an immigrant and
emigrant, referring to a person who leaves one
country or region to settle in another.
Migrant (Highly Qualified)
In the EU context, a