• Civil society and political reactions to attacks against Roma in Ponticelli

    On May 13th 2008, after the first violent attacks against Roma in the Ponticelli district of Naples, law enforcement agents decided to evacuate smaller camps and concentrate the former residents in a bigger camp with a police cordon around it, in order to protect them better. During the night of the 13th and 14th May, another camp in the district was evacuated and the 60 persons living in it were moved to a school on the opposite side of the city. Others left their shacks in small groups of two to thr...

  • Health without exclusion

    ‘Health without exclusion’ is a campaign aiming at improving access to health services and promoting health education with the Roma and Sinti population living in camps in Rome. The main objective is to take the health institutions closer to Roma and Sinti living in camps. Through a specific activity of mentorship for the correct use of health services and training of social and health officials Source: http://www.episouth.org/outputs/presentations/Motta.pdf (date of access 18-2-2012)

  • White Christmas operation: the Mayor of Coccaglio "cleans" the town from irregular migrants

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  • ENAR SHADOW REPORT 2009/2010 - Racism and Discrimination in Italy

    In 2009 there has been a dramatic increase in the vulnerability of migrants to racism and discrimination. Although some categories such as Roma and Sinti or Northern Africans have experienced more incidents of racism, strong anti- immigrant feelings have generally affected all nationalities and groups. It is not a coincidence that critical situations, like that of the seasonal workers in the agricultural sectors have reached a violent climax by 2010. A discriminatory attitude has especially characterise...

  • The Italian general elections of March 2008 brought to power the right-wing coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi. Since then the new government has lost no time in tackling one of the central issues upon which it based its pre-election campaign: the claim that Italy is facing an exceptional ‘national security emergency’, largely caused by irregular immigrants. This government, which is already the fourth one led by Berlusconi, gained the parliament’s confidence on 15 May 2008. Five days later, the Italian cabinet agreed on the adoption of a complex set of legislative measures that are referred to as the ‘security package’. This packageis composed of a series of laws broadly covering those categorised as EU citizens, third-country nationals (TCNs), and most particularly, Roma.

    The main legislative acts that have been adopted allow, inter alia, for facilitated expulsions, the transformation of irregular immigration into a crime and an extension of the period of detention for irregular immigrants. Moreover, the government has declared a “state of emergency” in relation to the settlements of nomadic communities in Campania, Latium and Lombardy. This last measure has been followed by the adoption of three emergency ordinances suspending the ordinary legislation and conferring new and increased police-related powers to the prefects of the regions concerned. In Naples, the census was implemented – at least during its initial phase – through a collection of fingerprints, which those of included minors. The state of emergency has been successively extended to the entire Italian territory based on what the government defines as “a persistent and extraordinary influx of non-EU citizens”.

    A number of the measures introduced as part of the so-called “security package” have been quashed in a series of recent decisions by the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Three key issues that the rulings highlighted include the discrimination that introducing longer sentences for the same criminal offences in cases involving “illegal” immigrants entails, that the imprisonment under criminal law of immigrants who have been caught while their status is illegal and have not complied with an order to leave the country contravenes the so-called Returns Directive, and the unconstitutionality of the wideranging expansion of local councils’ powers (in particular mayors) to issue ordinances on matters pertaining to policies on security and public order.

    The European Parliament was one of the first EU institutional actors to react to the Italian events. In a Resolution adopted on 10 July 2008,52 the European Parliament urged Italian authorities to refrain from collecting fingerprints of the Roma – including children – and from using those already collected. The Resolution states that the collection of fingerprints “would clearly constitute an act of direct discrimination based on race and ethnic origin prohibited by Art. 14 of the ECHR [European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms]. Before the interior ministry issued its guidelines on the implementation of the ordinances of 30 May 2008 (Nos. 3676, 3677 and 3678), the Italian data protection authority expressed concerns about the possibility of fingerprinting the Roma, including minors. Fearing that this could entail discrimination that might also affect personal dignity (notably that of minors), the authority requested information from the prefects of Rome, Milan and Naples.




    Merlino M., The Italian (In)Security Package: Security vs. Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in the EU, Justice and Home Affairs, 10 March 2009 - http://http://www.ceps.eu/book/italian-insecurity-package-security-vs-rule-law-and-fundamental-rights-eu

    Maccanico Yasha, Statewatch Analysis Italy, Series of defeats in court for the “security package”, July 2011 - http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-137-italy-security-package.pdf

    European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), Roma Centre for Social Intervention and Studies (Romani CRISS), Roma Civic Alliance (RCR), Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and Open Society Institute (2008), Security a la Italiana: Fingerprinting,extreme violence and harassment of Roma in Italy, ERRC, Budapest - http://www.errc.org/db/03/2A/m0000032A.pdf