A protest by immigrants in Castel Volturno for better working conditions | Photo: Cesare Abbiate / Archive / ANSA
A protest by immigrants in Castel Volturno for better working conditions | Photo: Cesare Abbiate / Archive / ANSA

An area with a high concentration of migrant workers in southern Italy is implementing a project that aims to help reduce labor exploitation and get migrants back on their feet.

A social hub for orientation and assistance with healthcare services as well as housing rights and employment has been opened by the Nco-Nuova Cooperazione Organizzata consortium in Castel Volturno in southern Italy.

Many foreigners --both with and without official documents-- live in the area. The aim is to support social and employment integration for migrants and prevent and counter labor exploitation. Teaming up to address real needs of those who have suffered exploitation.

The activity is part of the AgriCultura- Coltivare Diritti project supported by a partnership of associations and cooperatives under the not-for-profit organization Cidis, which includes seven social hubs across the Campania region, including in Casal di Principe, San Cipriano d'Aversa, Cancello and Arnone, Villa Literno, Mondragone, and Giugliano municipalities.

Registering new users

"In only a few weeks," said Mercedes Nicoletti, referent for the social hub in Castel Volturno, "we registered over 70 users with various problems, from a request for documents for stay permits to the need for housing and work when fleeing exploitative conditions. The aim of the project is to make exploitation come to light and thus we have activated a network of contacts with some businesses in the area and real estate agencies that enable us to give solid answers for the protection of their rights and dignity."

On healthcare, the NCO consortium has organized a transversal and itinerant service with mobile units from Thursday to Sunday operating in central points of the seven towns involved, where - on request - testing for COVID and HIV are provided as well as PAP cervical smears for women and Mantoux tests to diagnose Turberculosis or TB.

Help finding doctors

Migrants are also assisted in bureaucratic practices such as signing up for the national healthcare system, choosing a family doctor and a doctor for their children, setting up medical appointments and specialist exams as well as invalidity procedures.

The healthcare coordinator for the NCO consortium, Tommaso Mazzei, praised the idea of the mobile units, which had already been experimented with but will now include help from other associations that have been working for years to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

"The aim," he said, "is to welcome migrants with a welcome talk and medical examination to direct them, when necessary, to specialist exams and medical centers. In this way we hope to calm even minor concerns that could increase the discomfort of those who feel lost."


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