ActionAid launched their campaign #DirittiInGiacenza with a protest in Rome | Photo: @ActionAidItalia on Twitter
ActionAid launched their campaign #DirittiInGiacenza with a protest in Rome | Photo: @ActionAidItalia on Twitter

Many migrants do not have access to state support and health care in Italy because they cannot register their residency, according to Action Aid. The NGO is demanding local authorities end the practices that exclude many migrants from city registries.

The Italian branch of ActionAid launched their campaign #DirittiInGiacenza (rights on hold) on June 22. Activists set up empty boxes in front of the Italian parliament in Rome to draw attention to the campaign. The boxes bore the rights the organizations says unregistered migrants and homeless people are deprived off -- such as the right to social assistance, vaccines, health (care) and school meals.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) tweeted a photo of the protest, along with the caption: "Without residence? Without rights! Today we want to denounce the invisible emergency of foreign and Italian people excluded from official registries, who are unable to have access to health (care), vaccines, school meals, and welfare (services)."

Francesco Ferri, of the ActionAid migration program, said being registered as a resident at a specific address is necessary for having access to many fundamental rights in Italy. This can mean that homeless people -- many of them migrants -- and people whose living quarters have been deemed unsuitable by authorities -- usually migrants -- are excluded access to services such as the public health care.

300,000 migrants excluded from registries

More than 300,000 migrants in Italy are affected by this, according to ActionAid estimates.

"In Rome, many, many people are excluded from the city registry and in the various municipal registry offices we have encountered procedures that vary wildly, for which the same person could even receive different responses based on who is working in the office," Ferri said. "This situation generates not only confusion, but also produces exclusion."

According to Action Aid, the growing number of people who aren't registered in the city registries has created a "residency marketplace" in which people are forced to pay for an apartment where they don't actually live so that they have the chance to be registered.

Action Aid is demanding "guaranteed registration in the city registry and access to rights for all, without discrimination," Ferri said.


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