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Costitution of the Italian Republic:


- Citizenship

Art. 2

The Republic recognises and guarantees the inviolabile human rights, be it as an individual or in social groups where the individual's personality is expressed, and it requests the performance of the unavoidable duties of political, economic, social solidarity.

Art. 3

All citizens have equal social status and are equal before the law, without regard to their sex, race, language, religion, political opinions, and personal and social conditions.

It is the duty of the Republic to remove all economic and social obstacles that, by limiting the freedom and equality of citizens, prevent full individual development and the partecipation of all workers in political, economic, and social organization of the Country.

Art. 1

Human dignity is inviolable.It must be respected and protected.

Art. 6

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

Art. 18

The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 july 1951 and the protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Art. 20

Everyone is equal before the law.

Art. 23

Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.

The Italian Republic "recognises and guaranted the inviolable human rights, be it as an individual or in social groups where the individual's personality is expressed, and it requested the performance of the unavoidable duties of political, economic, social solidarity" (Art. 2 of the costitution of the Italian Republic).

Therefore "all citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without regard to their sex, race, language, religion, political opinions ande personal and social conditions" (Art. 3)

Moreover, "it is the duty of the Republic to remove all economic and social obstacles that, by limiting the freedom and equality of citizens, prevent full individual development and the partecipation of all workers in the political, economic, and social organization of the Country" (Art. 3).

Already in its formulation, the Italian Costitution has a dinamic character: not only it recognized the existence of equal rights of all citizens, but at the same time it assumes on itself the duty to remove such obstacles (legal, material, social conditions, economic or cultural difficulties) that may transform this right into a pure formal enunciation, devoid of any substance.

In 2000, the charter of Fundamental Rights of the European union established the European citizens' prerogative as follows: inviolable human dignity (Art. 1), freedom and security (Art. 2), equality before the law (Art. 20), equality between men and women (Art. 23): freedom of movement and residence (Art. 45).

In Italy those who have no italian citizenship nor the citizenship of any of the states of the European Comunity are considered foreigners and subjected to specific obligations for the entrance and free movement in the country.Specific rules are reserved to stateless people, refugees, people with international protection, displaced people.

Art 18 of the charter guarantees the rights to asylum with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 july 1951 and the protocol of 31 january 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Comunity.

The person who does not fulfil the requirements for being recognized as refugee is accorded subsidiary protection when there are reasons to believe that s/he would risk being seriously harmed if s/he returned to his/her homeland or, in case of stateless person, to the country where s/he was previously residing.

The rules regulating the entry and free movement of individuals within the territory of Member States change according to whether they are European citizens or non-European ones: extra comunication citizens with or without a resident permit.Every citizen of the Union has the right to move freely in each Member state without fulfilling specific formalities.Freedom of movement is a fundamental right granted to European citizens.

Citizens of an Extra-European State-a state belonging neither to the European Union nor to the European Economic Territory-can enter and travel within Europe for a maximun of three months only if their status satisfies certain conditions (valid travel documents, Visa permit, even for a short stay when required, sufficient financial resources for the duration of the stay and for returning to their homeland, etc.)

Extra-communitarian citizen with valid residence permit granted by a member state can move freely in the European Union up to three months with Residence permit and a travel document valid within the European Union.

The fundamental human rights as envisaged by internal law, by international Convention and by the principles of inter of international law are recognized to the foreigners present at the frontier or on the state's territory.

Generally speaking, the fundamental rights are intended as those regarding liberty, dignity and equality.The Costitutional Court has often intervened on the issues regarding human rights for non European citizens offering interpretations of such rights as the right to live, freedom, security, healt, private and family life respect, equal trial, right to free expression, gathering, religion.

Human rights do not admit discriminations in the name of equality principle contained in our Costitution, in the European Union Acts, in the international Charts and Agreements.Every restriction must have an exceptional character, a licit purpose: reasonable and proportionate, otherwise it shall be considered as discriminatory and illegitimate.

Unless otherwise regulated by international agreements and legislations, foreigners legally styng in Italy,enjoy the same civil rights recognized to italian citizens.When the "Testo Unico" (Italian Legislation in the matter) or international agreements foresee the conditions of reciprocity, the latter is ascertained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Upon requested, the Ministry communicates to notaries and to the administrative offices concerned the data concerning the fruition of civil rights by italian citizens living in the countries of origin of foreigners.

Specifically, the following rights are recognized to foreigners legally stayng in Italy:

  • Equal treatment vis-à-vis the italian citizens in the legal safeguard of their rights and legitimate interest;
  • Equal treatment and full equal rights to the male and female foreign workers and to their families vis-à-vis the italian citizens
  • The right, granted under the Testo Unico Italian legislation on immigration, to partecipate in the local public life, including the right to vote in the administrative elections (even though this latter disposition until now is only in a planning stage)

Due prudence is foreseen in relation to the communication of entry measures, residence permits (revocation and denials) and expulsion.The communications have to be motivated, they must include the modalities of legal appeal, and they must be sinthetically traslated in an understandable language when possible, or in French, English, Spanish and Arabic, giving priority to the language indicated by the individual concerned.

Since expulsion and refoulements in a centre represent restriction to personal freedom, they must take place in the respect of the fundamentals principles of the legislation concerning:

Motivations: jurisdictional control of the measures taken; defence guarantee; appeal against the sentence; prohibition of collective expulsion and prohibition in case a right or public interest must be guaranted (EX. Prohibition of expulsion for pregnant women, women with babies up to six months, minors, relatives of italian citizens up to the fourth degree).

Foreign people, like anybody living in the national territory, have the general duty of respect of regulations.This duty in a way takes a stronger connotations in the case of foreigners, since disrespect of regulations implies in additions to possible consequences at the penal, civil and administrative levels, also in some cases expulsion from the national territory wich of course does not apply to the italian citizens.

  • Furthermore, foreign people must respect all the specific disposition regarding the entry and stay in Italy contained in the D. Lgs 286/1998 and related D.P.R. 394/1999.
  • Foreign people must fulfil specific obligations:
  • within 20 days of the issuance of the residence permit the foreigner must register at the Registry Office (Anagrafe) of the municipality in which he has established his residence.
  • With the circulars of 16 April 2007 and 2 August 2007, the Ministry of interior clarified that while awating the issuance of the first residence permit, foreign citizen who have entered Italy through a working permit and for family reunification, can request registration at the Registry Office.
  • Changes in address should be reported to the police within 15 days,unless the foreign person is already registered in the Registry Office to provide the information.
  • The foreigner must exhibit the documents concerning his stay to the Public Administration, when requesting the issuance of licenses, permits, registration and for whatever other actions of interest to the foreigners.Exception is made for request concerning temporary sport and recreational activities and for request regarding civil status or access to public services.
  • When requested by officers and agents of public security, the foreign person must exhibit a passport or other identification document, that is, residence permit or card.If, without justifiable reason, he does not exhibit such document, he shall be punished with arrest up to six months and with a fine up to 413 €.
  • The foreigner can also be subjected to photo-fingerprint pads for the inclusion of his biometrics in the residence card, and when his personal identity is questioned.
  • With the recent approval of the law n. 94/09 of 15 july 2009, the rights of foreigners have been much more limited, in particular in the following areas/aspects:


The acquisition of the Italian citizenship by marriage, can take place after 2 years of residence in the italian territory (after marriage), or after three years in case the consort is abroad.Times halves in presence of children.The previous dispositions envisaged a period of six months for the obtainment of the citizenship.Moreover, the payment, of a fee of 200 euro is necessary.Further restrictions on marriages have been adopted through a modification of the Civil Code wich introduces the obbligation to exhibit the stay permit.Marriages between irregular people would not lead to any kind of regularization.


The crime of illegal entry and residence has been entroduced, even though it does not entail immediate incarceration.For this crime a fine of 5000 to 10000 € must be paid.Moreover the possibility of repatriation is foreseen, without permission from the competent authoriy.


Request for registration or change of residence may lead to the verification by the competent municipal offices of the higienic and sanitary norms in force.This rule slightly softens the previous norm wich envisaged the automatic request for a certificate of higienic and sanitary idoneity in accordance with the criteria established by the Municipality.

In any case many houses, even among the ones found on the high-rent private market, cannot meet this criterion.This measure will undermine the right of immigrants, of European Community citizens, wich consequences on access to child care, income support benefits, etc.


In the case of family reunification the certificate of hygienic and sanitary idoneity must be added to the certificate of housing idoneity (it was previolsy required to provide either the certificate issued by the Municipality or, as an alternative, by local ASL).It is foreseen that appropriate regulations will be issued to identify suitable criteria.


The entry visa can no longer be required if the authorizatioin is not issued after 180 days of the completion of the practice.This means that the only possibility to guarantee the right to family reunification foreseen to face bureaucratic delays will vanish.


The obligation to exhibit the residence permit for all acts of civil status is introduced.This means that even the simple but sacrosant right to recognize a child, for those without a passport, will have to go through the filter of the request for the residence permit.An exception, in addition to the one already foreseen for the healt care, will be made for the enrolment of children at school.


The period of detention in the CIE has been extended up to a maximum of 180 days.


The proibition of expulsion for partners living with italian relatives of the third and fourth degree has been abolished.


Money tranfer offices will have the obbligations to request the residence permit and keep a copy for 10 years.They will also have the obligation to inform the appropriate authorities if the service has been provided to persons without a permit.


The residence permit can be obtained only after passing a test of italian language.


Non-definitive convictions will also be taken into account.


The above contribution must be paid for all practices relating must be paid to the granting or renewal of the residence permit.


While the possibility of enrolment at the Registry Office for the homeless (but not only) has been abolished, the Ministry of Interior established an operational register for the registration of homeless people (clochards).


Cancellation from the Registry Offfice is foreseen after six months from the date of expiry of the residence permit.


An"agreement for integration" has been established and articulated in credits to be endorsed at the time of the application for the residence permit.The criteria and procedures will be established by an appropriate regulation.


All rules related to the abetment of irregular entry have been tightened.Reversely, the sanction related to the exploiter have not been touched.Those who, through the exploitation of illegal residence situations, draw an unfair advantage (ex. Those who employ undocumented underpaid workers) will not see their situation worsen.A good part of the provisions contained in the bill 733 aims primarily at limiting the rights of migrant with paticular attention to the so-called regular, ie, those who with great difficulty managed to finally get out of that condition of invisibility which leads to the conditions of clandestine.In Italy, at this stage, a real racism emergency is surfacing, at both institutional and people level, with an increase of racist behaviour.


Associazione Piccoli Progetti Possibili ONLUS

Via Pio Piras N. 8 - 09036  Guspini (VS) Sardegna

Telefono 070 / 970529  -  Fax 070 / 970052

Registro del Volontariato RAS n.1888 del 23/04/2009 - Cod. Fisc. 91016940925