Oxfam warned in a statement of the complete dismantlement of the Italian system of distributed migrant reception. Those who are "paying the price will not only be migrants and asylum seekers, who will see essential services denied, but also thousands of young workers."
Oxfam said Italy's CAS migrant reception centers housed 80 percent of migrants and gave work to more than 36,000 people. It is calling for a consultation at the labor and interior ministries to review the specifications for the reception centers.
Data shows thousands of workers without jobs
Oxfam said in the first four months of the year, more than 4,000 workers have lost their jobs, according to data from CGIL labor union national Public Service. It said the number could grow to 15,000 by the end of the year, as current contracts expire and the effect is seen in cuts to surrounding services such as professional training, legal services, food service, and apartment rentals.
In addition, other services will be cut such as psychological assistance, Italian language courses, and cultural mediation courses.
Oxfam said in addition to the reduction in contributions given for the reception of single asylum seekers, the smallest price will be paid by the largest centers. In centers of up to 300 places, overall cuts will only be 28 percent, compared to nearly 40 percent for smaller apartments involved in the distributed reception programme. For example, the Rome Prefecture establishes, with new calls for bids, a per-diem of 21.35 euros for distributed reception in apartments and 26.35 euros per day for larger-sized reception centers.
Oxfam appeals to government to annul new calls for bids
Oxfam said the new laws effectively do away with the current distributed reception system in Italy. Giulia Capitani, Oxfam Italy policy advisor for migration and asylum, said this means "we risk losing an extraordinary collection of experiences, definitively compromising a model of good reception. The risk is that of creating actual 'ghettoes' in which to abandon people who, after being forced to leave everything behind, are asking for the chance to rebuild a dignified life; and, in so doing, leaving thousands of young workers on the street. We are therefore asking the interior ministry to review, as soon as possible, the specifications for expenditures related to the calls for bids for the CAS centers, whose bidding is underestimated and unsuitable; and for prefectures to annul the new calls for bids. We are also asking the labor ministry to immediately call a consultation with unions and other forms of organized representation to face the question of the loss of reception system workers' jobs and support measures to enact."