lunedì 27 maggio 2013

Asylum Lottery - Internal EU movements of beneficiaries of protection and asylum seekers who leave Italy

In the last few months Asilo in Europa noticed an increasing need from the Italian social workers to establish a more solid relationship with foreign stakeholders, in order to provide asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection with more comprehensive services.

Whether dealing with information about travelling (staying, working) in another Member State, or with the relevant European rules related to freedom of movement (Schengen, Dublin, Long-term Residence Directive), or with the concrete job opportunities available in other countries, information sharing with asylum experts abroad is of growing relevance.

Asilo in Europa wants to launch a new initiative regarding the issue of internal EU movements of beneficiaries of protection and asylum seekers who leave Italy for various reasons. We want to involve in this project our readers and other EU partners, to gain a more sound understanding of the issue.

As we have already underlined in other occasions, the fact that the EU is implementing a Common European Asylum System does not mean that the receptions conditions and the protection systems are at the same level in the 27 Member States.

The outcome is that the clear objective of limiting internal EU movements of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection, set in the preambles of the Qualification, Reception Conditions and Procedures Directives, becomes too ambitious and unrealistic.

Therefore, the request – that many social workers in Italy already received – from asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection to have information on other EU States. Which travel documents do we need? How long can we stay there? Can we work legally there? Can we get a legal status there? Can we ask for family reunification there?

On the basis of the latest available statistics (Rapporto annuale del Sistema di Protezione per Richiedenti Asilo e Rifugiati – Atlante SPRAR 2011/2012, p. 37), Asilo in Euopa believes that nowadays this situation does not regard only people out of the reception system, but also asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection hosted in the Italian Protection System for asylum seekers and refugees (SPRAR).

Through a new section of the website, called “asylum lottery”, we want to raise the issue of abandonments from Italy, in order to share information and stimulate a debate with counterparts and stakeholders in other EU countries. Indeed, this issue – which is largely due to the inadequate Italian policies on asylum – inevitably calls into question other and broader issues such as the rules on internal EU movements for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection.

We believe that these issues deserve a debate at the European level. And this debate cannot but start from the concrete contribution of those people who work “on the ground”.

Therefore, during the next weeks we will gather comments from social workers of reception centres, lawyers, practitioners, etc.. on the issue of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection leaving Italy.

Then, thanks to our members in other EU countries, we will try to go beyond the Italian borders aiming at receiving replies or similar questions and comments on the other side of the coin: asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection arriving from Italy.

We cannot promise much. We are well aware of the limits of this project, first of all related to the fact that the work of all Asilo in Europa’s members is on voluntary basis. Obviously, we are also aware of the burden of work and strain on the shoulders of workers of this sector, which reduces very much time and energies for an extra-effort.

In spite of all these issues, we strongly believe that it is more and more necessary to work in this direction.
Finally, we believe in doing this effort together with many other people, associations, institutions, which in years have worked in the asylum field.

We address this message to anybody who wants to join this discussion, asking to give visibility to this project, to join and participate with comments, feedbacks, questions or any other contribution.
Thank you!

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