we love life in freedom

Maria Bethke

Ev. Dekanat Gießen

Legal adviser to asylum seekers

Meisenbornweg 23

D – 35398 Gießen

Tel.: +49 641 9719 244

Fax: +49 3212 1280 374

E-Mail: fluechtlingsberatung@ekhn-net.de

Dominik Bender


Eschenheimer Anlage 15

D – 60318 Frankfurt/M.

Tel.: +49 69 7079 770

Fax: +49 69 7079 7722

E-Mail: ra-bender@online.de


Report on the research trip to Rome and Turin in October 2010

Frankfurt am Main, 28 February 2011

Translation of the German original text published on 28 February 2011: Susanna Thomas


This report documents the extremely difficult living conditions of asylum seekers and persons with protection status in Italy. This documentation focuses on the situation in Rome, however, similar problems are known to exist in other Italian cities. This description of the circumstances under which people live aims to contribute to an improvement of the situation. Those who are politically responsible in Italy are obliged to create a sufficient number ofhumane accommodation facilities and adequate integration measures. This report, however, may not be used as an excuse to evict refugees from the provisional accommodation mentioned as these are the only places for those who would otherwise be homeless.Until Italy complies with its obligations, we hope this report will help to persuade other EU countries to refrain, for the time being, from deporting refugees to Italy. This has already been directed by some German courts, for example the administrative courts in Darmstadt, Cologne, Weimar, Kassel, Frankfurt and Minden, and by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). We are not alone in finding that the conditions for refugees in Italy are degrading. Other refugee and human rights organizations have come to the same conclusions.

Bernd Mesovic PRO ASYL

In the following report we detail our findings on the day to day reality of recognised refugees, persons with subsidiary or humanitarian protection status, asylum seekers as well as those whose asylum claims have been unsuccessful, in Italy, specifically Rome and Turin. The report is the result of a one week visit to the two cities between the 16th and 24th of October 2010. Other than the authors, participants included: Federica Benigni, researcher of migrant issues and translator/interpreter German/Italian  Shirin Shahidi, Photographer Yonas Bahta, translator/interpreter of Tigrina and Amharic/German Due to the location of the research sites and the available interpreters we were able to gain particular insight into the lives of individuals originating from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. In this

report we will focus on the following:

1. The reception system for asylum seekers and persons with protection status  Living conditions in some of the occupied buildings and on vacant land in Rome  The conditions of those without any shelter Access to the health system and employment market The situation of people returned to Italy under the Dublin II Regulation  Unaccompanied minors seeking asylum without access to the protection system for minors in Italy It should be noted that most of the asylum seekers from the countries of origin considered are granted some form of protection (and as a consequence a legal right to remain). Relatively few individuals are granted refugee status. More are granted subsidiary protection and others a humanitarian protection unknown in German law. In total some form of protection status is granted to a number considered acceptable by the majority of interviewees. In contrast, however, the reception conditions are far from satisfactory. In this report, individuals granted any form of protection by the state will be referred to as “persons with protection status”. A further German language description of the reception conditions is provided by the November 2009 report by the ‘Schweizerische Beobachtungsstellefür Asyl und Ausländerrecht‘ titled “Rückschaffung in den ´sicheren Drittstaat´ Italien“ publish a report following a research trip to Milan and Rome on

 Maria Bethke Legal adviser to asylum seekers

Dominik Bender Lawyer



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