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Home a buon diritto

The “Legal aid” information and orientation service consists of two legal help desks in Rome, one at the multicultural library run by the “Cittadini del Mondo” association in Quadraro (Municipal District VII) and another at the “Città dell’Altra Economia” in Testaccio (Municipal District I).
At these help desks in Testaccio and Quadraro a lawyer is available for consultation, working together with a service coordinator from the association. The legal advice given by the lawyer at the help desk is entirely free and anyone needing to start legal proceedings can choose from any of the help desk lawyers.
The advice given at the help desks regards obtaining specific information on refugee status and asylum applications and covers questions such as residence permit renewal, access to Accommodation Centres for Asylum Seekers, checking the progress of residence permit applications (issue and renewal) at the Questura (Police Immigration Office) and availability of local services.

Since February 2012, A Buon Diritto has been maintaining a presence at the structure known as the “Afghan Tent”, a 150-place reception centre in the Tor Marancia district of Rome. The people housed there are Afghans, previously living in makeshift shelters around the Ostiense railway station and then transferred to the centre in a project instigated by local council chairman Andrea Catarci, Rome City Council and the group of associations involved in the situation over the years. The Afghan Tent also accommodates people with no travel or identity documents; these can be either what are known as “Transits” or “Dublin Returnees”. The Transits are people who declare themselves as being in transit, or rather, who don't want to remain in Italy which, for them, is a country they have to go through in order to get to northern Europe. They make a stop at the “Afghan tent” and then continue their journey in the hands of people smugglers. The Dublin Returnees, on the other hand, are either people who have been sent back to Italy because it is the country responsible for processing their asylum claim, or people who have to be transferred from Italy to another European country where they were identified and which has been recognised as the country responsible for processing their asylum claim. People from this latter group are frequent guests at the Tent. For them, the story is usually the same: asylum claim lodged in a European state - refusal by that state to grant asylum - appeal against refusal ruled inadmissible - expulsion. To avoid repatriation they escape. They reach Italy, lodge a new asylum claim and get a place in a reception project, which they keep until the Police Immigration Office trace their previous movements and report their presence to the Dublin Unit. If Italy then becomes the state responsible for their claim, at least twelve months have to go by from the date of their illegal entry into the country. As these Dublin Returnees cannot be accommodated in a reception centre, they look for alternative solutions to sleeping on the street, and the “Tent” is one of these.

Since April 2013 A Buon Diritto has been authorised to enter the Ponte Galeria Identification and Expulsion Centre (CIE) in Rome, where it provides cultural mediation services and assistance to the people detained. The cases dealt with are reported to the relevant Police Immigration Offices to focus attention on certain critical matters that would otherwise have been overlooked. For instance, A Buon Diritto has been able to highlight the fact that the lawyers chosen by the detainees are always the same, which leads one to believe that there really is no choice. As a result, the lawyers are overburdened with work and unable to deal with the cases properly, to the point of disregarding situations in which detention could actually have been avoided; this has occurred on numerous occasions, with serious consequences in terms of the moral and psychological harm inflicted on the persons involved. We have always been able to intervene only after detention, making it much harder for the actions we take to be rapid and effective.

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