First day at nursery school on Via Demetrio Stratos at Citylife, Milan, 7 September 2020 | Photo: ANSA/M. Corner
First day at nursery school on Via Demetrio Stratos at Citylife, Milan, 7 September 2020 | Photo: ANSA/M. Corner

A court in Italy has ruled that it is discriminatory to exclude foreigners without a long-term stay permit from the government's nursery school allowance. Italian authorities must now allow anyone with a legal stay permit access to the benefit.

The Court of Milan had decided that it is illegal and discriminatory to exclude foreign nationals who do not have a long-term stay permit from the government's nursery school allowance. The Court ordered the Italian social security agency INPS and the cabinet to allow all foreigners with legal stay permits across Italy to access the benefit.

The decision, announced Monday, followed an appeal by the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), Attorneys for Nothing (APN), and the League for Rights for People with Disabilities (LEDHA).

Reasons for the appeal

The associations said "In the case of the nursery school allowance, the exclusion (of people without long-term stay permits) was even more unjust because, since 2020, the allowance has also been extended to families with means, but not to foreign citizens with ordinary stay permits.

"(These people) are often in a condition of greater economic need and ... therefore the possibility for both parents to have assistance for small children and be able to access the job market is particularly important.

"In the case of children who are unable to attend nursery school due to a disability, the benefit becomes an amount to allocate to families for expenses for in-home care, and therefore an exclusion based exclusively on the stay permit was particularly irrational."

Right to equal treatment

The associations concluded: "The Court of Milan has ... (confirmed) once again that European Union law requires guaranteeing all legally staying foreigners equal treatment with Italians."

 

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