Some days ago we had my first meeting with the high school students involved into the project. They spoke about various events they are arranging. In particular I was impressed of their idea to organize a workshop about discrimination and abuses. I looked in face them while they were speaking and I thought about Italy. I thought that in that moment our Italian Government was discussing a decree on security and immigration with which it intended basically to cancel the residence permit for humanitarian reasons. It deals with an institution founded in 1998 in Italy allowing foreign people to come in Italy and start a new life away from lack of chances, safety, prospects that there is in their country. In particular it permits to the people escaping from serious situations as dangerous political instability, famine, environmental disasters, to stay in Italy.
But let’s go gradually. A foreign person coming- legally or illegally- in Italy has the right to apply to Italian State for international protection. The Italian State has to check the application and to decide if granting or not the international protection. There are three different type of international protection. The political asylum is conferred to people are able to PROVE that they are risking their own life because of variuos type of discrimination (sexual orientation, religion, political vision, racism). In other words it is not enough that they prove that their own life is at risk and there is violence and danger in their country but they must prove it is happening because of discrimination’s reasons. If you was raped in your country and you are afraid it would happen again but not because you are “nigger”, or lesbian, or communist or catholic, maybe just because you are a woman, you don’t have asylum’s right. Unless you are able to prove that you were raped because in your country women are systematically raped, in that case there is a proof of discrimination about women. If you can’t prove that, you can also hope to be part of people under the other kind of international protection, that is the subsidiary protection. This type of protection is guaranteed to people risking to be subjected to “serious damage” as death sentence, torture or indiscriminate violence caused by war. Anyway, even in this case you must prove this risk. Otherwise you can hope to get into the humanitarian protection, the last resort.
By the way the current Italian Government in last days attempted to cancel this last cliff to which desperate people can try to hold on to by denying the rights of people to follow own dream and improve their own life.
Luckily in Italy we have also the Constitutional Court appointed to defend fundamental rights sanctioned by our Constitution. Some days ago this Court ruled by declaring this decree unconstitutional in the part about immigrants and asylum-seekers. Ok, thank you for existing and for saving human rights, Court. But that is not the point! Our focus must go on the fact in this moment in Italy we have a government who believes we can try to solve some problems through denying human rights, through discriminating people. I think that is a very serious matter and I am ashamed to belong to this country in this moment. I think certainly and luckily we can have different ideas about a lot of matters, but we can never put in discussion the fundamental human rights. To try to build a better life for you and for your children away from misery, lack of chances, violence, injustice – and anyway away from own home – is a sacrosanct right and no one can deny it. I hope Prilep’s students will think about it and I hope really that italian people supporting our current Government will be able to rediscover their humanity and to stop doing it. By the way, don’t forget to “stay human” – as a extraordinary Italian used to say before being murdered in Gaza’s Streak in 2001- this morning and always! 🙂
Until next time,
Written by: Vanessa TORCASSO