SHORT TERM HOLDING FACILITIES>
the Migrants Infopoint of LOA
In Europe there
are places that are closed, controlled, hidden and invisible where
a migrant can be taken by the police authorities if found without
visa or documents in one of the EU countries.
Since 1998 the Italian immigration law Turco-Napolitano stated the
building of Short Term Holding Facilities (also known as Migration
Detention Centres - Centri di Permanenza Temporanea in italian).
In these centres are held in custody all migrants found not in line
with the currant immigration laws in Italy. This law is the Bossi-Fini,
which completes the pervious one, giving more importance and power
to these Migration Detention Centres. Migrants are detained in these
places without having committed any crime but have only done what
is in their right: to go away from their country where they didn't
or couldn't live any more.
A migrant who
has just arrived in the country, or has been here for years but
is waiting for the visa to be renewed, or can't get a visa renew
can end up in one of these places. Also migrants who are believed
to be dangerous for the public safety can be detained in these Short
Term Holding Facilities.
In Italy there
are 16 Short Term Holding Facilities, but the government has announced
that it will build more of these centres, and also new types, ones
for asylum seekers only. In 2003 only at least 17.000 people passed
through these centres.
On the 8th of
January 2003 the Town Council of Turin voted unanimously to the
creation of "Experimental Protected Community Structures ".
These structures should be designed to lodge foreign minors in a
"state of abandon and exploitation". What they really
are is the first type of Short Term Holding Facilities for people
under 14 years of age, without other members of the family with
them and responsible of some minor crimes and begging. In these
cases the deportation would take time, this is why they have created
yet another structure. The minor is held for 60 days and in this
time he is identified and provided with the documents that are needed
to be sent bake to his home country. If the authorities can get
in contact with family members then he is sent directly back to
the family, otherwise it is the embassy that takes on the case.
At the moment the are mostly Rumanian and Moroccan kids. With the
Rumanian embassy there is an agreement so that the minor gets directly
deported without getting an individual identification.
In the Short
Term Holding Facilities migrants are held until they are deported,
by being accompanied by the police to the border. The migrant can
appeal against this expulsion within 60 days, but he must, no matter
what, leave the country within 5 days. The reasons why many immigrants
are detained before the expulsion are:
to give first aid medical cure to the foreigner
to check the identity and nationality
to gain all the documents for travelling back home
- Not having
ones own means of transport adequate to return to ones own country
Until the expulsion
has not been done the migrant carries on being held in the Short
Term Holding Facilities, even though you can't be kept foe more
than 30 days, that can be extended to another 30 and after that
they must be released. The maxim stay can not be more than 60 days
at any one time. The migrant must be released with the order to
leave the country within 5 days. It is against the law if after
60 days the person is still being held in custody. No migrant can
be deported from the country without being identified and that his
nationality has been asserted.
The person who
has been ordered to leave the country within 5 days and hasn't done
it if stopped by the police can be taken in custody again. Having
already been in a Short Term Holding Facilities doesn't mean that
you can't return.
stopped by police and hasn't got a visa or the necessary documents
can be taken to a Short Term Holding Facilities.
Your stay has always to be confirmed be a judge within 48 hours.
in a Short Term Holding Facilities you do have some minimal rights:
about laws regarding immigration and asylum ,must and rights of
immigrants, information about asylum
- right to be
defended by a lawyer for free (paid by the State)
- presence of
a interpreter and a cultural mediator
- health assistance
( it must be guaranteed a hospital inside the MDC, transfer to
an hospital outside, distribution of ordinary medicine, compilation
of personal health forms )
- social and
of personal goods
- right to meet
people from outside
- right to receive
letters from outside
- food service
- hygienic environment,
- safe keeping
these rights is important for all immigrants, because very often
they aren't guaranteed.
Doctors and politicians that had visited some MDC charged the forced
administration of psycho-medicine to most of the people detained.
that has been expelled can't return to any of the countries in the
Shengen area for 10 years.
Shengen area include the following countries: Italy, Spain, Portugal,
France, Germany Belgium Holland, Luxembourg,, Greece, Denmark ,Finland,
Sweden, Island and Norway.
The migrant that
has presented a request for asylum shouldn't be detained in the
MDC. All the information's concerning the foreigner's legal procedures
mustn't be communicated to their diplomatic representatives, even
though this happens more and more often. Ambassadors and consoles
of the countries of origin of the asylum seekers are not allowed
to get in the MDC to identify people.
law establishes that to require for asylum you have to go to a specific
centre called Identification centres for asylum seekers. If someone
asks for asylum after a expulsion procedure he will be held in a
MDC until the result of his request. In the other cases the people
have to go through the Identification Centres for Asylum Seekers.
are optional measures for:
the identity and nationality of who is asking for asylum
the elements on which the request for asylum is based on
- while waiting
for the procedures to finish the migrant is recognised as a refugee
For those asylum
seekers who have already dodged the border controls or is an illegal
immigrant these measures are obligatory and they also have to be
detained in an Identification centre.
This means that
soon all asylum seekers will be held in these new centres. In any
case the asylum seekers who leave these structures without authorisation
will loose any right to obtain asylum. In the case that the request
has been tuned down they have a right to ask to examine the case
again within 5 days. If the response is negative they can go to
court within 15 days but from their country because they will be
Now the Identification
centres for asylum seekers have not yet been created.
verdict, about forcing people back across the border, sentences
that before doing this the police have to inform a judge after 48
hours of detention, the judge has to confirm the deportation within
the following 48 hours. This means that the maxim amount of time
that you can be held without seeing a judge is 4 days.
In Rome the MDC
is at Ponte Galleria which in on Via Portuense (south-west area
of the city) and it is active since the 5th of August 1998. This
structure can hold up to 300 people. There are no separate areas
for families, which means members of the same family can only see
each other during the day and sleep in divided dormitories (male
or female) at night.