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IDOS report. Something went wrong with Ukrainian refugees in Italy (N. Galiè)

One hundred and fifty thousand refugees reached Italy after the start of the conflict in Ukraine. And although Ukrainian refugees have benefited from innovative legislation in our country, sometimes very scrupulous in assessing the rights of asylum seekers, something has gone wrong. This is what emerges from the Anticipations of the Immigration Statistics File (DSI) 2022 – edited by IDOS and in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies and the Institute for Political Studies “San Pio V”. The DSI will be presented in Rome at the Orione Theater and simultaneously in all regions.

Although, with the Dpcm of March 28, 2022 which follows a European directive on temporary stay, the Italian government has considerably expanded the social rights of Ukrainian citizens on the national territory, the thousand administrative formalities and the purely emergency perspective , which often distinguish our country , they have not allowed, beyond the good intentions that existed, a harmonious integration for all asylum seekers.

However, this extension of guarantees vis-à-vis Ukrainians, although ineffective in terms of implementation, is excellent news. It is now a question of extending these rights to all refugees, with a view to recognizing the dignity of those fleeing war and famine. This would not only make Italy an even more civilized country, but would avoid the creation of those ghettos which fuel so much social tension.
Rather than speculating on popular dramas, all political forces and the media that support them should aim for an effective and lasting welcome. Therefore, it is welcome that Ukrainian refugees have been able to choose the country in which to stop, live and work, thus gaining access to the health and education system. Moreover, they are constitutional principles which should apply not only to those who enjoy the right of citizenship, but also to every human being as such. And it is welcome that the government has had the strength to impose innovations which, however, should not be the preserve of Ukrainians alone.

What went wrong was due to the inability of the Reception and Integration System (Sai) to accommodate all Ukrainians, most of whom found refuge with their compatriots already residing in Italy before the conflict.
Even the generosity of those Italian families who made their homes available has always been ignored for bureaucratic matters.

As reported by Les Avances à la DSI, “Under the name of ‘generalized reception’, Civil Protection launched a call for tenders in April for the allocation of around 15,000 places, including domestic reception proper (more of 4,000 places) and apartments activated by Third Sector Organizations through agreements with municipalities. Thirdly, Ukrainian displaced persons were allowed to seek independent housing, directly receiving a monetary contribution”.

“Another unexpected and positive innovation, which recognized the autonomy and responsibility of Ukrainian refugees (but not all others) and the great value of their links with local communities. In fact, there are around 236,000 Ukrainians permanent residents in Italy, mainly women (77.6%) largely employed by Italian families, who have contributed to the reception in the territory”.
The solidarity response of the Italians was commendable, even if the great participation in the momentum of human responsibility found obstacles in the implementation of the forecasts of the same government, which only managed to welcome a small part of the Ukrainians in public structures.

The DSI proposes to remove these bureaucratic obstacles as quickly as possible and to simplify the procedures
While waiting for the presentation of the entire Dossier, it should be remembered that the problem of immigration in the context of what the Pope already calls the Third World War will always have greater centrality. If the policies of inclusion are followed, as the Ukrainian example shows with all the distortions and delays in the file, we will have the possibility of making society less confrontational and giving prospects to the country.

If we repeat the old demagogic recipes, which only have the effect of fragmenting and exacerbating the problems, Italy will be less and less able to respond to the socio-economic crisis that threatens to transform – and some want it – in a war between the poor .. and very poor.

Nazareno Galie

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