5 March 2018
Borderline Sicilia Newsletter February 2018
- Fire, Endless Waiting and Eviction: The Invisibility Continues
- Happy Birthday, Pack Your Bags!
- The Immigration Business
- Stories of Hope
- News: Libya, the Hell Without End – a new report from Oxfam and Borderline Sicilia
- Information and contacts
FIRE, ENDLESS WAITING AND EVICTION: THE INVISIBILITY CONTINUES
The campsites under bridges, in abandoned buildings, tent-cities and shanty towns in the middle of the mud play host to between a dozen and a thousand young people searching for a better future. There are those who stop by for only a few days to sort out their permits, others who have to wait for months on end for an appointment in the police station, those who come for whole seasons for work without contracts in the countryside, exploited for only a few Euros per hour, those who resist for longer to wait for the next eviction. The situation is more or less the same for everyone: non-existent hygenic conditions, no running water or electricity, the cold, wet and mud – and frequently fires that raize everything and turn the little that you have to ash. Across the board, people feel the same dissolution of self, the negation of human rights, the worrying indifference of those who watch from afar.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PACK YOUR BAGS!
As happens every year, on January 1st a large number of unaccompanied foreign minors turn 18 and the overflowing requests for transfers come into conflict with the scarce number of spaces available in the SPRAR centres for adults.* The system gets blocked, and there are different procedures followed in the different provinces across Sicily. Some new adults manage to be transferred to SPRAR centres, even if not in the same province as where they were previously, and a very small number are hosted by Italian families. The mahority, however, end up in the large CARA*, the Extraordinary Reception Centres* or in the street. The picture that emerges is one of abandonment and dislocation, of interuption in people’s individual projects for education and education, as well as a break in the relations of trust built up over years spent in the hostels for minors.
THE IMMIGRATION BUSINESS
Follow the raid by operation “Montagna” on 22nd January, and with the assistance of the informant Giuseppe Quaranta, former mafia boss of Favara, some of the connections between organised crime and the immigration business in the province of Agrigento have been uncovered. Extortion, favours requested of the cooperatives, selections of staff and buildings for new centres, hasty rubber stamping and assistance in obtaining authorisation from the local councils are just some of the pieces that, yet again, show the Mafia’s interest in the immigration sector and the reception centres business, one of the few sectors that does not show signs of the crisis.
STORIES OF HOPE
The international day against human trafficking was marked in Palermo with a solemn wake. An account of real welcoming came from Joy, a very young victim of human trafficking who has been welcomed in by Agata and supported in a journey of integration.
NEWS: LIBYA, THE HELL WITHOUT END – A NEW REPORT FROM OXFAM AND BORDERLINE SICILIA
To mark one year since the signin of the Memorandum with Libya and following on from the report published last July, Oxfam and Borderline Sicilia continue to amplify accounts by migrants in Libyan detention centres. Oxfam and Borderline Sicilia reiterate their request for the immediate revoking of the Libya-Italy agreement, “that simply creates suffering and has no respect for international law.”
INFORMATION AND CONTACTS
For information on how to donate to Borderline Sicilia Onlus – Banca Etica Popolare di Palermo Agenzia di Via Catania, 24 IBAN IT 28 Q 0501804600000000141148 Codice BIC CCRTIT2T84A – and for updates on the current situation of migration in Sicily see the blog:
www.siciliamigranti.blogspot.com or follow our Facebook page:
www.siciliamigranti.blogspot.com → In Italian
www.siciliamigrants.blogspot.com → In German
www.migrantsicily.blogspot.com → In English
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*SPRAR = Sistema di protezione per richidienti di asilo e rifiugiati
* CARA = Centro di accoglienza per richidienti di asilo
* Extraordinary Reception Centres = CAS (Centro di accoglienza straordinaria)
Project “OpenEurope” – Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Translation by Richard Braude