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29 March 2024

Italy: New agreement between UNHCR and municipalities on reception and integration

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In March 2024 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Italian Association of Municipalities signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a joint commitment to strengthen the country's SAI reception and integration system and to promote adherence to the Charter for the Integration of Refugees.

The memorandum promotes the SAI system as a good practice for the reception and integration of both asylum seekers and refugees, even though it is currently only used for vulnerable asylum seekers (in the past, all asylum seekers were admitted to the system). Both UNHCR and ANCI also commit to working better together to strengthen the implementation of integration programmes, with special focus on asylum seekers and refugees with special needs (including unaccompanied minors). The document provides for the creation of a working group composed of 2 representatives of the ANCI and 2 representatives of the UNHCR, which will work and carry out activities in accordance with the objectives of the protocol.

By signing the MOU, UNHCR and ANCI also undertake to promote the signing by Italian municipalities of the Charter for the Integration of Refugees, signed in 2022 by 6 major Italian cities: Bari, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Rome and Turin, and recently joined by 3 more: Genoa, Ravenna and Bologna. The charter aims to strengthen cooperation between cities and their commitment to the integration of refugees, including through the implementation of joint programmes - such as "Common Space" -, through which UNHCR and the signatory municipalities have set up multi-service centres for the integration of refugees.


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Posted by
Ferruccio Pastore
Country Coordinator

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