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24 September 2018

Controversial decree in Italy to abolish humanitarian protection, make naturalised citizens less equal

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According to a controversial new decree in Italy, issued by the government on 24 September 2018, humanitarian protection will be abolished and naturalised Italian citizens who are convicted on terrorism charges will lose their Italian citizenship. The Parliament now has 60 days to debate, amend and vote on the decree before President Sergio Mattarella signs it into law.

The proposed change regarding revocation of citizenship will not affect non-naturalised citizens, even if they are convicted on terrorism charges. Thus, the decree effectively introduces a differentiation among classes of citizenship, meaning that naturalised citizens will not be equal to ‘natives’.  

The decree also aims to abolish humanitarian protection. This is a form of protection for people who are not eligible for refugee status but cannot be removed from the country because of objective and serious personal situations. The government argues that humanitarian protection has been too frequently used in recent years. 28% of permits granted to asylum-seekers were issued for humanitarian protection during the last year. 

The number of naturalised citizens in Italy has grown since the beginning of 2000, according to an analysis conducted by the ISMU Foundation, a prominent independent scientific body, employing data provided by the Italian National Institute of Statistics. In 2016, Italy accounted for 20% of new citizenships granted in the EU—the most in the EU—ahead of Spain (15%), UK (15%), France (12%) and Germany (11%).

See the decree

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Geographic area
Italy
Posted by
Gaia Testore
Country Coordinator

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