A report published today by anti-racism monitors warns that more must be done in Italy to combat hate speech and to protect Roma and migrants from violence and discrimination.
The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) report states: “There is more racist discourse in politics; migrants, in particular, are regularly equated with insecurity.
“This reflects discriminatory policies (for example, several aspects of the “pacchetto sicurezza”). Although the most questionable measures have been abandoned, the impact on public attitudes is obvious. In some cases, there have been violent attacks against Roma and migrants.
“Most Roma experience marginalisation, notwithstanding some municipalities’ and regions’ programmes for social inclusion. Even legal settlements are relegated far from urban centres. As for illegal settlements, their demolition and forced evictions have resulted in increased discrimination in everyday life.”
The ECRI monitors reveal that Italy now has “an effective legislation against discrimination and racist violence in sport.” They also confirm that the courts have “annulled a number of discriminatory measures taken by the Government and some mayors.”
However, the report’s authors declare: “The pushback (“respingimento”) policy of returning to their country of origin boats intercepted on the open sea between Italy and Libya, which was introduced in May 2009, appears to have deprived individuals of the possibly of applying for international protection. There have been problems also following the events in North Africa in early 2011: excessively rapid returns and poor reception conditions.
“Anti-Muslim prejudice and antisemitism persist and private landlords reportedly discriminate against vulnerable groups.”