Rights of unaccompanied minors in Italy, EU agency

Country has shown strongest local reclutance to take in migrants

31 October, 14:51

    (ANSAmed) - Brussels, October 31 - Rights' protection for unaccompanied minors arriving in Europe is at risk and the response made at community level continues to be inadequate, according to a study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) of the seven countries including Italy that have experienced the biggest migration movements over the last year. Providing "adequate specialised structures" for unaccompanied minors remains "a challenge" for various countris including Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy, the study found. Italy is also cited for the lack of information provided to minors "concerning their rights and international protection" and for the delay "of up to eight months" in the appointment of legal guardians that is an obstacle to "accessing reception facilities and family reunification".

    FRA said that asylum procedures for minors were an obstacle course and that in Italy, Greece and Belgium "they have often been started in the absence of a guardian".

    Italy has shown "the strongest local reluctance to take in" migrants and asylum seekers of the seven EU countries subject to the biggest influx of migrants over the last year, according FRA. The resistance was particularly strong "in small towns", the study found.

    FRA compared the situations in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary and Sweden in the year starting September 2015. Though several EU countries including Italy, Austria and Germany have "made progress in improving the standard of reception", negative reactions by local communities towards migrants and migrant reception facilities are "on the rise". The protests are largely fuelled by the fear of "economic damage to the local population" and "a corrosion of legality". "Xenophobic and racist" episodes were registered across all EU countries. (ANSAmed).

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