Friday, Apr 25th

Last update12:40:49 PM GMT

Italy

Decreto flussi for seasonal workers: Applications now open

From today employers willing to hire non-EU foreign seasonal workers can submit applications for authorisation to work (nulla osta).

The newly published Quota Agreement (Decreto flussi) opens Italy’s borders to 60,000 seasonal workers this year.

Workers from the following countries will be admitted for seasonal work: Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Philippines, Kosovo, Croatia, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Gambia, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Albania, Morocco, Moldavia and Egypt.

The employer can either personally prepare the online application, or seek the help of Benevolent Institutions (Patronati).

If you choose to personally prepare your application, please log on to the website of Ministry of Home Affairs (www.interno.it), register by typing in your email address and password. You’ll then have access to the area reserved for applications. Once here please click on “richiesta moduli” (application forms) and choose “Richiesta di nulla osta al lavoro subordinato stagionale - Modulo C” (Application for authorisation for seasonal subordinate work – Form C).

You don’t need to download the software for preparing the applications. Just fill in the form online and submit it.

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New migrant arrivals on Lampedusa lead to massive overcrowding

The arrival of more than 1,630 irregular migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa in the last two days has led to massive overcrowding at the migrant reception centre where IOM and partners monitor reception assistance and provide legal counselling to migrants, asylum-seekers and unaccompanied minors.

With the weekend's arrival of Tunisian migrants bringing the current number of migrants on Lampedusa to nearly 4,780 and the reception centre built to host 800 people, migrants are being hosted wherever possible around the island.

This includes about 2,000 migrants at the port area which doesn't have the sanitation facilities needed to host such numbers of people and who for the past few days have been sleeping in the open without adequate protection from the elements and in whatever space they can find.

Among the nearly 4,780 migrants on Lampedusa are about 200 minors. IOM and UNHCR worked with partner Save the Children to find suitable accommodation for all the minors who have arrived in recent days and who could not be left to sleep at the pier with no blankets or mattresses.

IOM also found safe accommodation for 13 women away from the overcrowded reception centre.

With boat landings taking place during the day and night, IOM and partners are working in shifts to ensure assistance is provided 24 hours a day.

Staff report that the situation on the island, which has a population of 5,000, is critical and tense and that rapid transfers to other migrant reception centres elsewhere in Italy are essential.

Since February, around 14,000 Tunisian migrants have arrived on Lampedusa. With migrant reception centres in Puglia in southern Italy and on Sicily also fairly full, Italian authorities have established a centre at an ex-NATO base residence at Mineo on Sicily.

From today, IOM staff will be present at Mineo where, as part of an Italian government funded project, the Organization will provide legal counselling to migrants and monitor reception assistance.

IOM said that the vast majority of the migrants who have arrived on Lampedusa are young men who have left Tunisia either to find employment in Europe or to be united with families.

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Institutions strongly condemn racism and intolerance

OSCE/ODIHR, Council of Europe and EU Fundamental Rights Agency make joint statement on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

In a joint statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Nils Muiznieks, Chair of the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI); Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA); and Janez Lenarčič, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), strongly condemned manifestations of racism and related intolerance.

“Today we jointly commemorate the tragic events of 1960 in Sharpeville, which led to the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination 
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. On this day we renew our call to be vigilant in the face of acts motivated by racism and xenophobia.

“On a positive note, we acknowledge with great appreciation that in some European States, surveys show that tolerance and the rejection of discrimination are on the increase. These positive developments need to be strengthened and stimulated, since discrimination and victimisation still remain far too widespread. At the same time, levels of reporting by victims of racist assaults, threats or serious harassment and awareness of how to access redress mechanisms remains low.

“We are convinced that persistent racist and xenophobic speech from public figures and in the media can fuel prejudice and hatred against ethnic minorities and migrants, leading to discrimination in many areas of social and economic life, particularly in access to employment, health care, education, and housing. This creates a situation of social exclusion and, in some cases, leads to open hostility and violence.

“Our monitoring and research shows that the Roma are the ethnic group most  discriminated against across Europe. In particular, our findings highlight recurring forms of stigmatisation of Roma communities in public discourse.

“We acknowledge that the primary responsibility to protect the rights of Roma lies with the States of which Roma are citizens or long-term residents. However, a coordinated response at the European level is needed to address the cross-border dimension of the problems that these people experience.

“We, the signatories of this statement, believe that to combat racism and xenophobia proactively, States should ensure, inter alia, that

• barriers to education, health care, housing, and employment are removed.  Such policies should include the reintegration into mainstream schools of Roma children currently enrolled in special schools, and desegregation in the area of housing;

• adequate data are collected about the participation of vulnerable groups in these areas, in order to target policies better and to allow their impact to be assessed;

• legislation prohibiting racially motivated crime is introduced and enforced, along with training for law-enforcement officials in preventing and responding to these offences;

• measures are taken to address discrimination on other grounds in addition 
to ethnicity;

• national bodies responsible for the protection of human rights are mandated and adequately resourced to monitor the prevalence of racism and related intolerance and to take measures to promote equality, including advice and support for victims;

• measures are taken to increase awareness of rights and complaints mechanisms, in order to address low reporting levels;

• journalists are provided with training to challenge prejudice and stereotypes, in order to encourage informed and nuanced public debate; and

• educational programmes and awareness-raising campaigns are designed to challenge prejudice and stereotypes and strengthen a climate of mutual tolerance and intercultural dialogue.

“Our institutions stand together to support and assist States in finding sustainable solutions at local, national, and European levels, through the provision of data, research findings, specialist advice, and coordinating support, on the basis of our complementary fields of expertise.”

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European Commission ready to help countries facing increased influx of migrants

Malmström: Protect vulnerable persons and those in need of international protection

The European Commission is “carefully monitoring the situation” in North Africa and is ready to help and support Member States that are or might be confronted with an increased influx of migrants, Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs has said.

Speaking after the conversation with Mr. Roberto Maroni, Italy’s Home Affairs Minister, Ms. Malmström said: “Mr. Maroni and I have a common understanding that we need to prepare for all possible scenarios – financially as well as with concrete operational measures, and I am glad that Italy is already preparing to take care of migrants who might be in need of help.

“Depending on the particular circumstances with which Member States might be faced, on the requests from Member States in need and on the readiness of other Member States to provide the necessary operational support, the human and technical resources of Frontex (the European border security agency) could be increased according to future needs. We are also analysing how we can best make use of the emergency funding already available at EU level.”

Ms. Malmström added that protection obligations remain paramount. “Therefore, we must pay specific attention to vulnerable persons and those in need of international protection within the framework of a European response. We must ensure they get the protection to which they are entitled under international and EU law and that there is a respect of the non-refoulement principle.”

She welcomed the efforts which Italy has made in recent days to evacuate a number of third-country nationals, mainly Eritreans from Libya. “The situation for people of some other nationalities still in Libya or in the border areas remains particularly precarious, and I urge all Member States to make an effort to assist in their resettlement. It is equally important to ensure that those who are not in need of such protection and are not allowed to stay in the EU and are returned in safety and dignity in accordance with our relevant legal standards,” she said.

Ms. Malmström said that for an EU action to be successful and sustainable in the long run, they “need to support North Africa with a comprehensive strategy for supporting democratic and economic transition, mobility partnerships, and effective border management."

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Decreto flussi for seasonal workers: Applications from 22nd March

The Quota Agreement (Decreto flussi) allowing non-EU foreigners to come to Italy for seasonal work will be published in the Official Gazette on 21st March, so it will be possible for employers to begin applying for authorisation to work (nulla osta) on 22nd March.

Some 60,000 seasonal workers will be allowed to come to Italy this year.

Workers from the following countries will be admitted for seasonal work: Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Philippines, Kosovo, Croatia, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Gambia, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Albania, Morocco, Moldavia and Egypt.

In the meantime employers can prepare their applications as they wait for the 22nd March to submit them.

The employer can either personally prepare the online application, or seek the help of Benevolent Institutions (Patronati).

If you choose to personally prepare your application, please log on to the website of Ministry of Home Affairs (www.interno.it), register by typing in your email address and password. You’ll then have access to the area reserved for applications. Once here please click on “richiesta moduli” (application forms) and choose “Richiesta di nulla osta al lavoro subordinato stagionale - Modulo C” (Application for authorisation for seasonal subordinate work – Form C).

You don’t need to download the software for preparing the applications. Just fill in the form online and save it.

Then on 22nd March, retrieve your application and submit it.

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