Civil society associations in the Agro Pontino area of Lazio, central Italy, have released a 'Manifesto for Inclusion,' calling for a better treatment of migrants in the region.
In their manifesto, the organizations called for cultural mediators in schools and public offices, and a school curriculum that includes education on global citizenship. They also asked for information windows on job opportunities and the risk of exploitation and illegal gangmastering in Italy to be put up in migrants' countries of origin.
About 55,000 migrants live in the area, the majority of whom are Romanian and Sikh Indian. Many of them face marginalization and exploitation; the region made the headlines recently because of the mistreatment of foreign farmworkers.
Migrant workers exploited
The initiative is part of a larger project called "Get AP! Strategies for Global Citizenship in Agro Pontino," sponsored by the Dokita association together with a network of organisations working in the area (namely CeSPI, Tempi Moderni, GUS, Progetto Diritti, Caritas Diocesana di Latina, and Articolo Ventiquattro). It is co-financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.
"(Migrant exploitation in) Agro Pontino isn't just a local event or an isolated case," said Mario Grieco, director of Dokita. "Rather, it represents a small-scale reproduction of a phenomenon that is deeply rooted and widespread across the entire (Italian) peninsula. From the north to the south, Italy is studded with 'ghetto neighbourhoods' where social exclusion, labor exploitation and housing deterioration flourish."