A minor being assisted by the Red Cross after arriving in southern Italy | Photo: ANSA/Red Cross Italy
A minor being assisted by the Red Cross after arriving in southern Italy | Photo: ANSA/Red Cross Italy

The Italian Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) has created new guidelines for the protection of underage migrants who arrive in Italy without family. Their goal: To help social workers and legal guardians understand the laws and procedures for unaccompanied minors and make sure their rights are respected.

The Italian Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) has released a new set of guidelines titled "The Protection of Minors Who Arrive in Italy Alone" (available in Italian).

Issues addressed in the guidelines include identification and age verification, the conversion of stay permits when minors turn 18, and reception methods.

The goal of the guidelines is to help better protect underage migrants and refugees and to ensure that their rights are respected, said ASGI, which provides legal assistance to migrants in Italy.

ASGI said that it created new guidelines because the coronavirus pandemic "had a strong impact ... on the overall system of rights of foreign citizens and unaccompanied foreign minors from their time of arrival to their living conditions, legal status, and paths of social and employment inclusion."

More unaccompanied minors, more need for help

The presence of unaccompanied underage migrants and refugees in Italy "has become increasingly numerically consistent, increasing the need to structure interventions aimed at protection systems that can ensure effective protection of rights as required by national and international law, from the time of arrival," said ASGI.

The guidelines were created as part of a project called "Never alone again! Reception practices for children" financed through the European Programme for Integration and Migration. Other organizations involved in the project include Refugees Welcome Italia Onlus and Cooperativa Nuovo Villaggio, as well as the Italian cities of Corigliano and Mugnano.

 

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