July 2013: A group of volunteers belonging to various associations decides to address the need to create a protection system for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (MSNA) right from the initial reception phase.
Syracuse was the province with the highest number of minors arriving by sea without however having the necessary structures to welcome them according to the standards required by law.
In the concrete impossibility of placement in suitable structures, the minors were placed on an “emergency” basis in a former Umberto I school complex in Syracuse or in other impromptu structures, often in promiscuity with adults and in the absence of qualified personnel to intervene on their specific needs .
In this chaotic management framework, the initiation of protection and guardianship procedures did not take place with serious consequences for the minors, who suffered treatments that could sometimes be classified as abuse: in the absence of legal protection, many of them were exposed to the risk of trafficking and exploitation. Many disappeared within the first week of their arrival.
AccoglieRete begins to operate in response to this crisis in the reception system through the intervention of a team of lawyers, psychologists and cultural mediators in the centers set up in emergency.
Since then, the promotion of the role of the voluntary legal guardian as an “anchoring” figure for the minor has become the main strategy that AccoglieRete pursues to deal with the disorientation of incoming UASC.
Within our network, the figure of the Guardian represents a fundamental element for the integration of Unaccompanied Foreign Minors into the social fabric, guaranteeing the most appropriate intervention in a specific and complex sector such as that of irregular immigration.
Over time, the reception model created by the association has proven effective in unblocking a system compromised by the emergency management of arrivals, and still represents a fundamental contribution in the territory thanks to the promotion of widespread reception which is put into practice by the operators with the support from volunteers, families and local associations.