Who can apply for international protection?
A person, with insufficient livelihoods, who asks Italy for international protection and owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.
In order to be recognized as a refugee, it’s not necessary to have been victim of persecution. Italian law provides the right of reception for all asylum seekers. Reception measures are adopted since a person expresses the will to apply for international protection.
Reception system is structured in different steps according to Piano nazionale per fronteggiare il flusso straordinario di cittadini extracomunitari from D.Lgs 142/2015 and to Roadmap Italiana published in September 2015 and based on the European Migration Agenda: first aid and assistance, first reception and second reception.
As regards first aid and assistance, there are hotspots in which people who have just disembarked are accommodated and in which sanitary screening, pre-identification, photo signaling, and procedures for reception are carried out.
First reception takes place in reception facilities for asylum seekers, where identification process is concluded, where legal position is defined and where application for international protection is formalized.
Second reception, that is SPRAR (Sistema di Protezione per Richiedenti Asilo e Rifugiati) provides reception for asylum seekers until the outcome of Territorial Commission. In case of appeal, reception is assured until a positive answer or, in case of rejection, until the judge accepts the suspension of the effect of the first outcome.
In case there are no vacancies available in SPRAR system, the law provides that asylum seekers should remain in first reception and they should be inserted into a customized project for social and economic inclusion and reception to become independent.
In October 2016, the Ministry of the Interior showed the dates regarding immigrants’ distribution, underlining that emergency approach is still predominant in Italian reception system:
The case of unaccompanied minors
Foreigner unaccompanied minors are foreign nationals below the age of 18 who arrive in Italy without parents or without a legal guardian. For them, it is provided that, within 60 days, all process for identification and procedure to verify the age must be concluded. They are directly sent in SPRAR reception system but, if there are no places, local government must provide them accommodation.
Territorial commission is the competent authority to examine the asylum application. It is composed by 4 members: 2 representatives of the Ministry of interior, one of which is a senior police officer; 1 representative of the Municipality (or Province or Region) and 1 representative of UNHCR. The decision must be taken by at least a majority of 3 members.
The asylum seeker, who received a rejection from Territorial Commission, has two possibilities:
In case of rejection of the appeal Prefecture automatically suspends reception measures and so the rejected must leave the reception facility.
Within 30 days the rejected must appeal against the decision if the Civil Tribunal and s/he must apply for a suspension of the effects of the rejection. In this way s/he is readmitted in the reception facilit
Asylum seekers reception is a legal obligation for European Union States. Reception Directive 2013/33/UE prescribes minimum standards for asylum seekers reception in order to “ensure them a dignified standard of living and comparable living conditions in all Member States”. This has to happen during all the process for obtaining international protection.