AYS Daily Digest 17/01/2020: A story from the Italian South

Are You Syrious?
Jan 18 · 4 min read

SEA: the Alan Kurdi is back in the Central Med /// 4,100 people trapped on Kos /// Summer Tents in Camps /// 100 children to be relocated to Serbia /// Italian Supreme Court rules that Carola Rackete should have never been arrested /// Deportation Alert — Germany to Tunisia

(Picture Credit: MORO, Art Against)

Feature: A story from the Italian south

We report a short story, published by MEDU — Medici Per i Diritti Umani, which shines a light on the slavery-like work conditions, the lack of housing, basic services, and information and the constant uncertainty about the future, faced by migrant workers (and people on the move in general) in the Italian south.

#TERRAGIUSTA — Diary entry from the Piana di Gioia Tauro

Piana di Gioia Tauro (Photo by MEDU — Medici per i Diritti Umani)

Mark is a young man from Mali, who used to live in one of the disused farmhouses of the Piana di Gioia Tauro, one of the many precarious shnatytowns in the area, served by the mobile clinic of MEDU. He was there to work as farmhand harvesting orange, he was paid informally: 1.20 Euro per box, around 32 euro for 9 hours of daily work.

Mark is a beneficiary of subsidiary protection, which entitles him to access reception services for at least six months, but he knew nothing about it, despite having been in Italy for three years.

When we met him, he was distressed. He decided to keep working as a farmhand to be able to send some money back home, and when we informed him of his rights and the chance to enter a social inclusion program, he feared this would only be a waste of time. With him there was a friend of his who was interested in understanding the workings of the reception system. After thinking about it, his friends decided to keep working in the farmlands, but not Mark. Mark wants to start a different path. Thus, we started the proceedings for his admission to a SPRAR centre and we accompanied him through them.

During our travels, Mark reveals to us that he wants to be a welder. He had heard that Italy needs welders, but althugh he has already done this job, his experience is not officially recognised here. He would like to follow a specific training course and receive a certificate.

Despite the precarious working conditions in the Piana, Mark keeps repeating to himself his mantra: “Italy saved me in the sea. I won’t forget that. If Italy hadn’t saved me, I would be dead. I have to thank Italy.” He repeated this every time he talked about the conditions of exploitation he and his friends have to suffer, as this was the price to pay for having been saved at sea. This sentence gave him the strength to resist the constant uncertainty about where to live, and to keep working without any rights.

The work of MEDU is important, but alone they can’t reach all the people in need in the area. While the story of Mark seems to be turning towards a more positive continuation, for many being exploited as migrant workers and living in ghettoes and makeshift camps is the only way forward.



Update from Kos

There are currently over 4,100 people trapped on Kos, often waiting for longer than a year to have their claims heard, the New Humanitarian reports. As with many camps, people are forced to sleep in makeshift shelters and dangerously deteriorated buildings, yet Kos receives little media attention and limited practical support.

People in Mainland Camps still Sleeping in Summer Tents

Is this what we call #Europa refuge. More and more families are on the street in the nothingness of #Grecia . We continue to support Malakasa families, more than 500 people

11 People Deported to Turkey from Lesvos

Local Media report that the 11 deportees included people from Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, and Tunisia.

100 Unaccompanied Children to be Sent to Serbia

Local media report that the new Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy, George Koumoutsakos, and the Deputy Labour and Social Affairs Minister, Domna Michailidou, have agreed with Serbia’s Ambassador to Greece, Dusan Spasojevic, on the transferral of 100 children from Greece to Serbia.

The selection will be made by (criteria as yet unknown) the National Centre of Social Solidarity, while UNHCR and IOM will handle the move.


Italian supreme court reject appeal against the invalidation of the arrest of Carola Rackete: she should have never been arrested!


Deportation flight to Tunisia scheduled for February 5

Protest LEJ reports that there are indications that there will be a collective deportation from Germany to Tunisia on 5th February.

Anyone who is at risk of deportation and rejected asylum seekers from Tunisia should urgently speak to a lawyer or to an advice centre.

Find daily updates and special reports on our Medium page.

If you wish to contribute, either by writing a report or a story, or by joining the info gathering team, please let us know.

We strive to echo correct news from the ground through collaboration and fairness. Every effort has been made to credit organisations and individuals with regard to the supply of information, video, and photo material (in cases where the source wanted to be accredited). Please notify us regarding corrections.

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Are You Syrious?

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

Are You Syrious?

Written by

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

Are You Syrious?

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

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