A new center for unaccompanied migrant minors has been inaugurated in Milan. The facility can host and assist up to 12 children and teens.
The center offers temporary accommodation for the minors as they wait to be placed permanently in a community, municipal authorities said in a statement. It is located in the Primaticcio district of Milan. A team of specialized operators including social workers, cultural mediators, educators and psychologists will work with minors staying at the center.
Save the Children and cooperatives "Farsi prossimo" and "Spazio aperto servizi" won a public competition to manage the center together with municipal authorities.
The city of Milan hosted a reported 673 unaccompanied foreign minors in 2018. The majority of minors hailed from Egypt (227), Albania (60), Kosovo (56), Gambia (50) and Morocco (33).
More assistance for homeless
More assistance will also be provided to homeless people, Milan officials said. That's because the aid center at Milan's central station 'Centro aiuto della Stazione Centrale' (Casc) is relocating to Via Sammartini 120. Operators who help the homeless find accommodation will work in the renovated space, which previously hosted a hub that welcomed thousands of people during the migrant crisis.
The building will also host offices that will provide a range of services to migrants including legal assistance and help for those who want to return to their home country.
Milan councilor says Salvini 'halting assisted repatriations'
Milan's councilor for social policies, Pierfrancesco Majorino, meanwhile accused Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of blocking the assisted repatriation of migrants. "Minister Salvini is blocking assisted repatriations," the councilor said in a statement. "He completely miscalculated the number of those who want to return to their home countries... In fact, if the return trips completed in 2018 were 1,008, the ministry has funded 1,600 for the next two years - a number that is drastically lower than the ministry's forecast of about 2,500... It is politically crazy to persecute people arriving by sea and not help migrants who want to leave."