The Republic of San Marino has approved legislation that enables families and single persons to host unaccompanied migrant minors living in refugee camps.
The Republic of San Marino, a small-size country completely enclosed by Italy, has unanimously approved a bill enabling singles and families to host unaccompanied foreign minors living in migrant centers or in hosting facilities, "constituting the legal basis to start the foster care process also from the Greek islands."
The move was celebrated by the NGO Still I Rise in a statement published on May 3. The organization explained that it followed the evolution and approval of the bill discussed by legislators on April 27.
Still I Rise explained that with the law, the Republic of San Marino regulates the juridical status of unaccompanied foreign minors. Under the legislation, they will be assured the possibility of becoming part and growing within a family that is able to guarantee the moral, educational and material support they need.
A single person or a married couple who are citizens or reside in San Marino, who are over 25 years of age and who can educate and support a minor, will be allowed to become foster parents, under the legislation.
Another requirement is for foster parents to maintain contacts between children and their family of origin, whenever possible.
Citizens and residents will also be allowed to welcome more than one minor, if they want to, favoring relationships between siblings. In addition, the legislation provides for a mechanism of "internal solidarity" enabling those who cannot welcome a child within their household but who want to be part of the project to financially support one or more minors.
The minors will instead live with families who can take care of them but who would be unable to support them financially. In order to encourage fostering, the Republic of San Marino plans to set up a Fund for the economic support of foster families in future.
The entire process will be overseen by the service for minors U.O.S. Tutela Minori and the office for international adoption and foster care, under the Directorate of judicial affairs of the Department of foreign affairs, in collaboration with authorized organizations and associations in San Marino.
'A fundamental tassel'
"This project adds a fundamental tassel, which was so far missing, to our action", said Nicolò Govoni and Riccardo Geminiani, president and vice president of Still I Rise.
"Thanks to the new law, unaccompanied minors who are present in our schools in contexts of emergency (like Mazì and Samos) will be able to continue their journey of hope also outside, in a safe environment, within families who take care of them and ensure the necessary services for their growth. We are very happy and deeply grateful to the Republic of San Marino for taking such an important step."