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Italy’s social co-ops support asylum seekers

Italian social cooperatives support asylum seekers entering Europe

In early March, Federsolidarietà, Italy’s largest federation of social cooperatives, launched a national charter in support of asylum seekers entering Europe from high conflict regions such as Africa and the Middle East. Rather than close the Schengen area, which has been hotly debated throughout the EU, Federsolidarietà believes that inclusion, rather than exclusion, has far-reaching social and economic benefits.

Called Carta Etica e Valoriale per l’accoglienza dei migranti (Ethic and Valuebased Charter for Welcoming Migrants), the the charter’s aim is to “promote joint action between social cooperatives and the public administration in order to promote the effective inclusion of migrants and to avoid social crises and conflicts.”

While immediate assistance will involve providing newcomers with “a roof and a bed,” social supports such as cultural mediation and psychological assistance, vocational training, and language training should also be central priorities, says Giuseppe Guerini, president of Federsolidarietà. ◊