Improvement of Reception Conditions for Migrants in Transit and Political Refugees at the Occupied  Building in Rome - Selam Palace  

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: October 2014 - Project end date: October 2015
Project number: 2014-045
Beneficiary: Associazione Cittadini del Mondo Onlus

Time span of this report: from October 2014 to October 2015

The project's main focus is on providing healthcare and defending the rights of both transitioning migrants and the Selam Palace's Holders of International Protection. Specific goals are:

-Helping both categories access public healthcare;

-Providing healthcare for transitioning migrants;

-Carrying forward and improving with the socio-sanitary Help Desk services Cittadini del Mondo provides inside the Selam Palace.

During the period taken into account, the Association has kept on providing the services of Social, Law and Health orienteering for foreigners, referring particularly to the Holders of International Protection who reside at the Selam Palace. The Help Desks have been operating every wednesday and saturday from 10am to 1pm at the Biblioteca Interculturale Cittadini del Mondo, and every thursday from 7 to 10pm at the Selam Palace itself. The Biblioteca Interculturale Cittadini del Mondo has been open monday to friday from 3.30 to 6.30 pm. Within this project, the following activities have been performed:

-Renovation of the spaces used as clinic at the Selam Palace; the Association has moved its medical seat in a larger, more suitable room. Issues with the electrical system and the masonry itself have been fixed.

-Implementation of the Socio-sanitary Help Desk inside said clinic; the Association has purchased medical, technical and stationery materials needed to carry the information and orienteering activities out.

-Primary Health Care (PHC) provision: the doctors of the Association have provided health care for 143 people, being them transitioning or residing migrants. The main reasons of access have been:

osteoarticular pathologies, gastroenterological pathologies, dermatological pathologies. 19 pregnant women have accessed the Help Desk.

-Distribution of basic necessity supplies and anti-scabies kits to beneficiaries: the number of transitioning migrants in the Selam Palace has considerably decreased compared to last year's. This is due both to modifications of national-international policies about migration, and to the choice of stable residing inhabitants to decrease the number of transitioning migrants allowed in the Palace. All transitioning migrants who have come in touch with Cittadini del Mondo have been visited and, where needed, supplied antiscabies cream and "kits" containing underwear, towels and soap. Anti-scabies kits have been distributed to 45 people in the building.

-Monitoring and recording the following data on the beneficiary population: every Holder of International Protection who accessed our Help Desk was invited to answer some questions aimed at the filling of an informative sheet. The information gathered included nationality, age, spoken languages, date of arrival in Italy and at the Selam Palace, education, country of birth, kind of visa, family, eventual Dublin case, residency, sanitary documents, medical anamnesis. For the transiting migrants information about nationality, age, place of landing, date of arrival in Italy and at the Selam Palace, staying time have been gathered.

Data gathered from 175 Help Desk users have been actually computerized.

-Accompanying the most vulnerable patients to health and social service offices: the socio-sanitary Help Desk operators have accompanied 37 vulnerable users like women, disabled women and non-italian speakers to local service offices (ASL, municipial offices, police headquarters, prefecture, CAF and COL).

-Counseling and guidance to facilitate access to existing local services;

-Communication and advocacy through multimedia channels. The Association has communicated with territorial services and municipality offices within periodical meetings about the issues met during the activities performance. The Association's web site and social media pages have been continuously updated.

-Widening of the catalogue and improvements of the activities undertaken by the Biblioteca Cittadini del Mondo. The library hsa enriched its catalogue with many new books in migrants' languages and it has performed several activities to promote multiculturality. Right now the number of members is around 550 and the catalogue counts around 10.000 books.

-Within the Biblioteca, italian language courses of different levels for foreign women have been active since september 2014. Courses take place two days a week, from 1 to 3pm.

30 women participated to the Italian course and on July, 21 students passed the Italian exam at CTP 20 Roma (L.go Volumnia 11), and they received the A2 level language certificate.

- As final output of this project and of this year of activities, the association wrote an activity report in order to be published and distributed. In this report the activities implemented are described, the details and the data gathered and analyzed during this year are reported.

Results achieved:

-The transitioning migrants have benefitted from the basic health care provided by the Association's doctors, improving their health as possible;

-The transitioning migrants have received some basic material (antiscabies kit) that will help them along their journey;

-The residing migrants have accessed the Socio-sanitary help desk, the access has been monitored and important information has been gathered;

-The residing migrants have been provided informations and orienteering about social and territorial services. The most vulnerable migrants have been accompanied by the Association's operators to the facilities.

-The migrants have come to the Biblioteca Interculturale to borrow books and multimedia, to follow the courses of Italian language and to access the Help Desk.

-Actually one of the main issues met by the Association's operators refers to the official residency of migrants. Residency is a necessary bureaucratic tool to access public services(including school and health care) and grant integration, since it's a mandatory requirement to get a staying permit

• Since 2015, staying permits' renewal for holders of virtual residency (for details about "virtual residency", please consult the report "Selam: La città invisibile") has been blocked. As of now, the majority of Holders of International Protection has only a virtual residency (46% between 2013 and 2014). The Association is actually taking care of the cases of 25 people facing this issue; this number is expected to increase in time due to expiry dates of staying permits getting closer.

• Since 2014, after the so called "Legge Lupi": the assignment of residency at occupations and the renewal of staying permits for people who resides at occupations is blocked. Those who have residency at the Selam Palace cannot take advantage of it for the renewal of staying permit. Currently, they cannot get a virtual residency either. The Association is currently following 16 people affected by this problem. As altready stated, this number is expected to increase in time.

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