All minors who arrive without their parents or legal guardian are considered as unaccompanied minors. There is no national and centralized guardianship system and in general a volunteer will be appointed as the legal guardian for an unaccompanied minor. In most cases this will be the major of a city where the minor arrived. The appointment of a guardian takes up to several months.
The majority of the minors don’t apply for asylum but receive a permit based on the mere fact that they are under aged and without parental care. This permit is called the “Minore Eta”.
Accommodation is organized on a municipality level.
Advise for guardians
As there is no national body in Italy that can be asked for assistance, guardians in another European Member State who assist an unaccompanied minor with family members or relatives in Italy are advised to find out if the minor has family members or relatives in Italy and if so, in which municipality they reside. This can be done by asking the minor as he or she is probably in contact with them. It is also possible to ask the Immigration Service in an European Member State via a request based on article 34 of the Dublin III Regulation (it follows from this article that information on residence details can be acquired from the competent authorities). An answer usually follows within 4-6 weeks.
After having traced the address of the resident, the guardian can look for an organization to get in touch with to find out more about the situation of this relative or family member in Italy. Formally, the Social Service Department of the relevant municipality has a role in this matter. It is however the experience of Nidos that it is extremely difficult to get in contact with them. It is therefore recommended to contact the NGO “Save the Children”. They have field workers throughout Italy and also a very extensive network that could advise further in individual cases.
Save the Children Italia Onlus
Via Volturno 58