After a long bargaining period, the last March 29th a new law, addressing Uams, entered into force in Italy. The main goal is to provide an organic mean able to increase Uams’ protection and their rights.
The first reform regards the reception system. Specifically:
Minors’ refoulement is always forbidden;
- Expulsion is possible (as foreseen by current laws) but only if it does not cause “a risk of serious damage for minors”. In addition, a new provision concerning the decision must be made within 30 days;
- The time a minor can be detained in reception facilities (related to first-aid provisions) decreases from 60 to 30 days;
- Specific reception facilities are indicated to them to better meet their needs;
- Only one procedure can be provided to identify minors and it must be fulfilled within 10 days (no time indication was foreseen until now). This procedure is aimed to verify the minors’ age in order to implement policies addressed to them.
The procedure to verify the minor’s age includes an interview between the minor and qualified experts supervised by local authority services. In case of doubts concerning the authentic age, it is possible to ask for a registry office certificate and social and health tests. To do this, the child’s consent is necessary and the procedures should not be invasive.
When, despite the procedures above mentioned, doubts on the authentic age still exist, the minor’s age will be assumed as a fact.
The law establishes the National Data Base on Uams based in the Italian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. The Uams’ Social Files – including the information collected and transcribed by qualified experts during the first reception phase – will be there uploaded. The information will be useful for implementing long-term measures addressed to the minor considering his/her best interest.
All Uams have to be settled in the Sprar System regardless of available places. Nonetheless, following the approach of best interest for the minor, foster family care should be preferred compared to reception facilities.
Uams can be addressed by assisted repatriation measures only with the aim to safeguard the family unity and the best interest of the minor. For this reason, accurate investigations must be conducted. The responsibility of these procedures runs by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to the Juvenile Courts.
Finally, specific protection measures are addressed to specific categories of Uams (such as trafficking victim Uams) in view of their vulnerable statu