Find out about our work inside Italy
Italy currently hosts 170,000 refugees. Over 24,000 people made the journey across the Mediterranean in 2018, 1,300 of whom, with many search and rescue ships prevented from saving lives, died at sea.
Just 40% of asylum requests were granted in Italy in 2017, and this percentage is likely to be much lower in 2019. At the same time, funding from the government to NGOs offering refugee and asylum-seeker services has been reduced.
As thousands are shut out and denied access to the system, people are being forced to set up their own makeshift accommodation in abandoned buildings, empty car parks or simply on the street, and to work in incredibly exploitative conditions. Men are pressured to pick fruit in Sicily’s extreme heat for minimal pay and women are trafficked in to prostitution, enduring all kinds of associated physical and psychological abuse.
Our wonderful Italian partners – Baobab Experience in Rome and Donne di Benin City in Palermo – offer accommodation, food and clothing services to ensure that people’s most basic needs are fulfilled. They also provide legal assistance, physical and mental healthcare, and essential “safe spaces” and empowerment activities for women.