ADIR - L'altro diritto

ISSN 1827-0565

Expulsion of non-European minors in Italy
Legal and sociological aspects

Federica Pratelli, 2001


This research examines the situation of non-Europeans minors, and discusses it within the general issue of migrations. This is why in the first chapter the research presents the general features of the Schengen agreement: born to sanction the opening of the national borders in Europe, become the symbol of the 'Europe fortress'.

After these introductory pages the research focuses on the Italian 1998 law on immigration, n. 40, the first Italian attempt to abandon the traditional emergency approach. The research nevertheless criticizes some aspects of the 1998 law, exposing its approach to immigration as focused mainly on police control.

According to the mentioned law the research sketch a classification of foreign minors in Italy, discussing extensively some of the most common cases. Of the 1998 law the research discusses also the rules on family rejoining, and the procedures that regulate the situation of minor asylum seekers.

The second chapter examines the laws regulating expulsion, and criticizes some aspect of the law that seem to consider expulsion as the core of the Italian migration policies.

The central part of the second chapter attempts a definition of the status of the unaccompanied foreign minor. The previous laws did not regulated this situation, and to differentiate the situation of minors from adults it was necessary to resort to the international 1989 convention on the children rights and to the Italian constitution. The 1989 law changed the situation, and its new discipline is attentively analysed in the last part of the chapter.

The third part of the work presents the results of an empirical study on assisted repatriation. Interviews are presented with officers from the Social Affairs Department and from the International Social Service. Relevant for the research are also the proceedings of the meetings of the Foreign Minors Committee, a key office in the new Italian law, and the guiding principles on assisted repatriation developed by the first president of the Committee.