Italy

Colleagues from FIERI (Forum of International and European Research on Immigration) investigated migrants’ marginalisation and conditions of protracted displacement across several sites in Italy. 540 people, mainly Eritreans, West Africans and South Asians, participated in the Italian study.

TRAFIG at the “In Dialogue” Symposium organised by Indiana University

On 18/19 March 2022, colleagues involved in the TRAFIG project contribute to Indiana University’s “In Dialogue” Symposium, which focusses on transnational dynamics and repercussions of the movement of displaced peoples between Africa and Europe. In a session on “Constrained transnationalism: Experiences of displacement and ongoing limbo between Africa and Europe” Catherina Wilson (Leiden University), Janemary Ruhundwa (Dignity Kwanza), Benjamin Etzold (BICC), Markus Rudolf (BICC), Simone Christ (formerly BICC) and Pietro Cingolani (FIERI) will share insights from TRAFIG research in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.

Il mio posto è qui: Is my place here? Living as refugees in Italy

Il mio posto è qui: Is my place here? Living as refugees in Italy

by Andrea Fantino, Italy, 2021

6 characters, 3 locations, one country: Italy. From North to South, from Cuneo to Castel Volturno, passing through Rome, “Is my place here?” collects the testimonies of refugees from sub-Saharan Africa that share their life path, conditioned by the precariousness of the Italian and European reception system. “Luck” and “will” – cornerstones within which to move one’s steps, according to one of the documentary’s protagonists – seem to dissolve in a time made of mobility and constraints, where institutions often do not help and inclusion in a new society is often in the care of individuals able to make a difference, or in the possibility of becoming political subjects in all respects, giving rise to a fight to conquer their spaces and thei... Read more

TRAFIG practice note no. 9

TRAFIG practice note no. 9

Resolving the ‘mobility paradox’ - Lessons from southern Europe

available in English, Italian, Greek

Protracted displacement exists in the European Union. TRAFIG research shows that many forced migrants in Italy and Greece live on the margins of society without hope for or the prospect of change. Their only way out is to go on the move. Mobility is their strategy to connect to social networks and find livelihood opportunities elsewhere. The problem is that their mobility is often on the fringes of or entirely outside the law. It leads to what we call the ‘mobility paradox’ that, if left unresolved, limits migrants’ own survival strategies from serving as resources/solutions to protracted displacement.

Based on the TRAFIG research in Italy and Greece - the results of which can... Read more

TRAFIG policy brief no. 6

TRAFIG policy brief no. 6

Moving on

How easing mobility restrictions within Europe can help forced migrants rebuild their lives

Free movement within the Schengen area is a cornerstone of European integration – and indeed an essential part of the European way of life. However, this freedom of movement is limited for forcibly displaced people residing within the European Union (EU). European asylum systems are designed to suppress mobility, which actually prevents many asylum seekers from finding a ‘durable solution’. In contrast, enabling legal mobility within and across EU countries, when paired with access to labour markets and ensuring the right to family life, can open new opportunities for forced migrants to settle into receiving communities and truly rebuild their lives. Read more

TRAFIG working paper no. 9

TRAFIG working paper no. 9

Figurations of Displacement in Southern Europe

Empirical findings and reflections on protracted displacement and translocal networks of forced migrants in Greece and Italy

This working paper is based on empirical research on the Translocal Figurations of Displacement in Greece and Italy. The authors aim to compare protracted displacement in Greece and Italy, looking at the structural forces shaping it and their interactions with migrants’ mobility and connectivity. This comparison is based on the analysis of the relations between two contextual variables (governance regimes and host population) and three key variables (mobility, connectivity and marginalisation). In this paper, they present findings from three study sites in Greece and four research locations in Italy.

Findings sho... Read more

Mobility and agency in protracted displacement

Mobility and agency in protracted displacement

Available in English, French and Arabic

The latest issue of the Forced Migration Review includes a special feature on mobility and agency for those living in protracted displacement, produced in collaboration with the TRAFIG project. Read more

  • Understanding the dynamics of protracted displacement
  • Mobility dynamics in protracted displacement: Eritreans and Congolese on the move
  • Family networks and Syrian refugees’ mobility aspirations
  • ‘Constrained mobility’: a feature in protracted displacement in Greece and Italy
  • Humanitarian Admission Programmes: how networks enable mobility in contexts of protracted displacement
Release of two TRAFIG Documentaries at the Film festival

Release of two TRAFIG Documentaries at the Film festival "Crocevia du Sguardi" \

Throughout their fieldwork activities, the TRAFIG teams in Italy and Greece were accompanied by camera teams. Based on this footage, two video documentaries have been produced which capture the realities of persons affected by protracted displacement. The two documentaries "Is my place here? Living as a refugee in Italy" directed by Andrea fantino and "Crafting futures" directed by Michalis Kastanidis and Io Chaviara are available for free from Tuesday 16 November at 21:00 to Sunday 21 November at 24:00 here.

The Italian documentary "Is my place here? Living as a refugee in Italy" will be also live screened on Thursday November 18th, 9pm at Cecchi Point (Turin). The documentary will be discussed by Ferruccio Pastore (FIERI Director), Pietro Cingolani (University of Bologna... Read more

Which solutions for displaced people?

Which solutions for displaced people?

Insights from a multi-stakeholder community consultation in the city of Cuneo, in the Piedmont region (Italy)

By Pietro Cingolani (FIERI)

Introduction and context

On Friday, 23 May 2021, the Forum of International and European Research on Immigration (FIERI) team organised a multi-stakeholder community consultation (MSCC) in the city of Cuneo, in the Piedmont region. The first objective of this meeting was to share with the participants the results of the field research conducted in Cuneo and in other rural locations in the province of Cuneo, such as the town of Saluzzo and the surrounding villages. The second objective was to collect information from the participants on good policies and practices to improve the living and working conditions of migrants in protracted displ... Read more

Doing field research during a Pandemic: what TRAFIG researchers in Italy have learned

Doing field research during a Pandemic: what TRAFIG researchers in Italy have learned

By Giulia Gonzales, Floriana Russo, Yonas Sium and Emanuela Roman, FIERI – Forum of International and European Research on Immigration

Between September 2020 and February 2021, the FIERI team implemented the TRAFIG survey in Italy. The survey was carried out by three interviewers, Giulia Gonzales, Floriana Russo and Yonas Sium, who focused mainly (but not exclusively) on three geographical areas: the north-west of Italy (mainly the city of Torino), the north-east of Italy, and the city of Rome. The target population included migrants in protracted displacement situations belonging to three main national/regional groups: West Africans, South Asians (Afghans and Pakistanis) and Eritreans. Notwithstanding the huge obstacles and difficulties posed by the second wave of the Coronavirus pand... Read more

Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations

Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations

In The Conversation, Carolien Jacobs (Leiden Unviersity), Nuno Ferreira (University of Sussex), Emanuela Roman (FIERI) and Benjamin Etzold (BICC) plead for urgently needed policy changes that focus on displaced people’s actual needs and the realisation of truly durable solutions. The short article is based on our insights from TRAFIG Working Paper 3.

Read the blog contribution here.

Asylum reception during the pandemic: How can systems become more resilient?

Asylum reception during the pandemic: How can systems become more resilient?

By Caitlin Katsiaficas and Martin Wagner, ICMPD

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of far-reaching impacts on daily life across Europe, and asylum systems are no exception. With the outbreak, the accommodation of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection in reception facilities has posed several concerns related to the health and care of both residents and staff which have spurred a host of changes across European reception systems and facilities – with important implications for residents. Reception is a key first step in providing an effective solution to displacement for asylum seekers in Europe. It is not only part of a state’s obligation to provide protection and access to asylum, it is also the first entry point into receiving societies, providing orientation, accommodation and other key introductory services. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on both the functioning of reception systems and facilities and on the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in reception. Read more

Migrant integration in times of the lockdown. Some reflections from Italy

Migrant integration in times of the lockdown. Some reflections from Italy

by Ferruccio Pastore, FIERI, 23.03.2020

If there is a silver lining, however thin, in the crisis we are going through, it has to do with the greater reflexivity it forces upon us. Isolation and routine disruption make us reflect more upon things we too often took for granted. Among these, the nature of our personal and social ties, and the extent to which they are context-dependent. More particularly, for us as scholars working on migration, the lockdown situation brings a new perspective on issues such as ethnic boundary-making and migrant integration.

How will the pandemic impact such processes? Will it widen existing cleavages and exacerbate prejudice, as it happened so often during past epidemics? Or will it, on the contrary, help bridging ethnic and cultural boundaries by rais... Read more

The EU’s shield and the institutionalisation of protracted displacement

The EU’s shield and the institutionalisation of protracted displacement

by Ferruccio Pastore and Emanuela Roman (FIERI, Italy), Panos Hatziprokopiou and Eva Papatzani (Aristotle Unviersity of Thessaloniki, Greece), Albert Kraler (Danube University of Krems, Austria) and Benjamin Etzold (BICC, Germany), 06.03.2020

TRAFIG researchers are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation at the Greece-Turkey border, on the Aegean islands and, of course, in Idlib. We are irritated about the political framing of recent developments, in particular by the European Union. 'Shielding Europe from refugees' and keeping them in protracted displacement is no sustainable solution. Instead, providing ‘protection shields for refugees’ and supporting them to find pathways to the future, whilst respecting legal and moral principles and counteracting racist violence must becom... Read more

Exploring asylum governance in Italy: the mismatch between regulatory frameworks and protection needs

Exploring asylum governance in Italy: the mismatch between regulatory frameworks and protection needs

by Emanuela Roman/FIERI

Forced migrants and asylum seekers who have reached Italy over the last years often find themselves in situations of protracted precariousness, vulnerability and marginalisation, both in terms of their legal status and socio-economic conditions. Such situations of protracted displacement are largely (although not exclusively) determined by the regulatory structures – i.e. the legal and policy frameworks – governing migration, asylum and mobility at the international, European, national and local levels. This multi-level governance regime and the way it is implemented in Italy, as in other European countries, affect both the daily lives and future aspirations of protractedly displaced people, impinging on their legal and socio-economic marginalisation and hinderin... Read more

Governing protracted displacement in Italy

Governing protracted displacement in Italy

An analysis of legal and policy structures shaping protracted displacement situations

by Emanuela Roman/FIERI

Within the European Union (EU), Italy is one of the main countries of transit and destination for migrants coming from Africa and Asia, including a significant component of forced migrants and protection seekers. In particular, Italy is the first European country of arrival for many migrants and asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa (mainly but not exclusively from Libya and Tunisia). Along with maritime migration flows, Italy has been receiving growing numbers of (forced) migrants entering the country through its Eastern land borders, mainly coming from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and transiting through Greece and the Balkans. These persons often find thems... Read more