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The Italian 2020 reform of the reception system

At the end of 2020, Italy enacted the Law 173/2020 (which converted the Law Decree 130/2020) and introduced amendments to the Security Decrees n. 113 of 2018 and n. 53 of 2019. 


-The new rules confirmed the governmental power to ban migrant ships from accessing Italianports “for reasons of public order and security”. Nonetheless, it radically amended the legislationincluding the sanctions on who violates this order;

-It introduced the permits to stay under special protection. A reform that will protect a significantnumber of asylum seekers who are not eligible for other forms of protection;

-The reception system has been reformed. First of all is worthy to highlight that the law confirmedthe exclusion of asylum seekers from integration measures. Indeed, only those migrants who havereceived a status of international protection by the territorial Commission can access integrationpractices. However, all migrants, including asylum seekers, attend other practices such as basic Italianlanguage courses or “legal aid and services for territorial inclusion”.

The Italian reception system has been reformed many times in the last years. 

Before Decree n. 113/2018, reception centres had hosted not only refugees and other migrants under stable international protection but also asylum seekers. With Decree n. 113/2018, however, the  reception facilities were aimed at hosting only persons holding an international protection status and  unaccompanied minors. Asylum seekers were placed in first-reception centres waiting for the  response from the relevant Commissions. 

Decree n. 130/2021 foresees that reception facilities are once again open to asylum seekers (within the limit of their capacity). 

Nonetheless, the current system foresees two different kinds of services: 

a)Basic services (first-level services) accessible to all guests, including asylum seekers. No specificintegration services are provided, but instead Italian language courses and “legal aid and territorialinclusion services”.

b)Integration-specific services (second-level services) focused on “labour-market inclusion andvocational training” and only accessible to those who have received a stable protection status.

Finally, “further integration measures” have been also introduced to those guests who are to exitthe reception system. The aim is to improve their autonomy once they will in charge of their own livesin Italian society.