On September 6, Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini introduced a draft decree that would make humanitarian protection — the type of protection that comes with a 2-year permesso di soggiorno — available to very few people.
For now, Italy is still granting humanitarian protection to people who qualify.
Salvini on July 24 announced plans to end humanitarian protection. But since even before that, we've been receiving lots of questions from our users on Facebook about whether Italy would stop issuing humanitarian protection.
Here's what we know about the draft decree.
What's proposed in the draft decree?
According to press coverage, the draft decree proposes major changes related to migration, citizenship and international protection. Some of the most significant changes:
- Allowing humanitarian protection to be granted only to people with extreme medical conditions, victims of natural disasters, or those who have committed acts of civic valor.
- Making any criminal sentence grounds for denying an asylum request or taking away someone's international protection status.
- Taking away the Italian citizenship of anyone who is deemed a threat to security or has committed acts of terrorism.
- Doubling how long people can be held in expulsion and repatriation centers, from 3 months to 6 months.
When will the decree go into force?
In the Italian judicial system, the government creates a draft decree like this one in urgent cases.
In order for the draft decree to become official law, it needs to be reviewed by the Consiglio dei Ministri (the executive branch of the Italian government) and then proposed to Parliament.
So far, the draft decree has not yet been proposed to Parliament.
Once Salvini does propose the draft decree to Parliament, members will have 60 days to review it, make any changes, then vote on it, and convert it into law. If Parliament does not complete these steps in 60 days, the draft decree will be thrown out.
Since the new government came into power in May, no new laws have been enacted or proposed. But this new proposed decree reflects much of what Salvini proposed in his campaign platform.
We'll keep you updated as we get more information.
Wait, what's humanitarian protection?
Humanitarian protection is the most common kind of protection in Italy.
Italy grants humanitarian protection to people who don't meet the requirements for subsidiary protection or refugee status (which come with a 5-year permesso di soggiorno) but who still might not be safe in the country they come from.
It is for people fleeing humanitarian crisis brought on by conflict, natural disaster or other events. Sometimes, people with serious medical conditions get humanitarian protection as well.
If Italy grants you humanitarian protection, you get a 2-year permesso di soggiorno, called a permesso di soggiorno per motivi umanitari, that you can renew.
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