Integration policies for refugees. Italy as a case study
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Scarce attention has been given to the integration of refugees in Italy until recently, when the first National Integration Plan specifically focused on beneficiaries of international protection was approved in 2017. The aim of this research project is to assess the suitability of Italy’s National Integration Plan as concerns the integration of refugees. To this end, an analytical framework is developed in this study, against which the plan’s provisions are weighed. The plan will be analysed also in relation to Italy’s existing law on integration, in particular dispositions in Title V of the Testo Unico and the Legislative Decree 251/07. Given the recentness of the plan, the focus of this research is on the policy on paper. Attention is placed on five selected areas, identified as critical for successful outcomes of integration: employment, housing, access to health and education and citizenship. The analysis shows that Italy’s first National Integration Plan is an initial positive step toward the creation of more inclusive societies and favours the integration of refugees. Unlike integration legislation, where dispositions are quite generic, the plan mostly meets the requirements identified as necessary to take down refugees’ barriers to integration. The research concludes with some recommendations to Italy, in light of the shortcomings evidenced by the study in the five domains of analysis.