War in Ukraine: over 173,000 migrants in Italy

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War in Ukraine: over 173,000 migrants in Italy

Written by Stefania De Cristofaro

By mid-2023, almost 200,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war had arrived in Italy, including 50,000 minors. The Ministry of Labour has launched a socio-labour integration programme for vulnerable migrants.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion on 24 February, more than 173,000 Ukrainian citizens have arrived in Italy, mainly women, elderly people, and children, who have travelled by train and bus to various regions of Italy, in most cases joining relatives already working in Italy.

Before the start of the conflict, the Ukrainian community numbered around 230,000 people.

The monitoring of arrivals at the border is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, which registered a total of 173,920 arrivals between 3 March 2022 and 16 June 2023: 124,459 adults and 49,461 minors. Meanwhile, the number of entries has increased significantly, considering that the total number of new Ukrainian migrants applying for temporary protection as of 18 December 2023 was 184,611, of which 131,007 were women (71%), plus 61,202 minors.

The region with the highest percentage of Ukrainian citizens is Lombardy (18.39%), followed by Emilia-Romagna (11.94%) and Campania (10.39%).

Material assistance for migrants

Ukrainian citizens who have applied for a temporary protection permit can also apply for subsistence allowance. This is a financial allowance granted in monthly instalments of 300 euros for a maximum of three months from the date of receipt of the permit application. A total of 147,233 Ukrainians have been admitted, of whom 124,529, or 85%, are women.

According to the latest report of the Ministry of Labour, there were 4,755 unaccompanied Ukrainian foreign minors in Italy on 1 April, representing 24.2% of the total. 51% are girls (2,780). 51% are girls (2,426), representing 84.7% of the total number of unaccompanied foreign minors present in Italy.

 The Ministry of Labour (General Directorate for Immigration and Integration Policies), taking into account the number of foreign citizens in need of protection, assistance and integration in Italy, launched the project “PUOI” (acronym for Protezione Unita a Obiettivo integrazione), which aims at the socio-labour integration of vulnerable immigrants who, due to the reasons that led them to flee and the traumas they have suffered, face greater obstacles in accessing the labour market. The beneficiaries include asylum seekers, beneficiaries of international or special protection and former unaccompanied minors (MSNA in Italian).

While in the initial phase of the emergency it was necessary to respond to basic needs, later on there was a growing need to promote pathways to integration, with the aim of including those who had become unemployed and homeless.

The Italian project involves public and private actors from the labour market, the reception network, and enterprises to create personalised pathways with guidance, work accompaniment and work experience. Each pathway will be financed by EU funds (including the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the European Social Fund). Of the Ukrainian citizens, 86% are women. This is because men have stayed in Ukraine to defend their country, and martial law prevents them from leaving the country except in special cases.

The average profile of beneficiaries

In terms of age distribution, 80% of beneficiaries are aged 30 or over, with the 30-39 age group predominant.

In contrast, the 18-24 age group is under-represented.

The report also shows that 81% of Ukrainian citizens have at least upper secondary education and 41% have at least tertiary education (45% for women). It should be noted, however, that only 25% of Ukrainian diplomas are recognised in Italy. Among foreigners, the Ukrainian community is still the one with the highest proportion of university graduates, more than double that of the non-EU population as a whole: 22% compared to 10.5%.

Training projects

Another significant fact is that most of the Ukrainian beneficiaries, 72%, when they enrolled in the project found accommodation in private homes and not in host structures.

70% of the traineeships started (118 in total) were completed. The trainees were mainly placed in accommodation enterprises (24%), other service enterprises (20%) and commercial enterprises (10%). This was followed by placements in the manufacturing sector (7%), in enterprises or cooperatives in the health and social work sector (6%) or in the education sector (6%). Finally, 4% of Ukrainian beneficiaries did their placement in municipalities.

In addition, Italy allocated 31,133,046 euros to finance projects for linguistic insertion, socialisation, integration, and school continuity for schools (3,702 in total) hosting Ukrainian pupils.

According to the Ministry of Education, at the end of December 2002, 19,617 Ukrainian students were enrolled in Italy: 3,040 in kindergarten; 8,809 in primary school; 4,786 in secondary school; 2,982 in high school.

complementary activities

EASY

War in Ukraine: over 173,000 migrants in Italy

Written by Stefania De Cristofaro

By mid-2023, almost 200,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war had arrived in Italy, including 50,000 minors. The Ministry of Labour has launched a socio-labour integration programme for vulnerable migrants.

Since Russia began invading Ukraine on 24 February 2022, more than 173,000 Ukrainians have fled to Italy. Mostly women, elderly people and children have travelled by train and bus to various Italian regions, mainly Lombardy (18.39%), Emilia-Romagna (11.94%) and Campania (10.39%).

In most cases, migrants were able to join relatives already living and working in Italy, around 230,000 people. Between 3 March 2022 and 16 June 2023, this community of Ukrainians was joined by 173,920 new migrants, including 124,459 adults and 49,461 minors. Arrivals increased significantly in the following period, with a further 184,611 people applying for temporary protection in Italy in December 2023. Of these, 131,007 were women (i.e. 71%) and 61,202 were minors.

Material assistance to migrants

Ukrainian citizens who have been granted temporary protection can also apply for financial assistance of 300 euros per month for up to three months. A total of 147,233 Ukrainians have been admitted, 85% of whom are women (124,529). In addition, the Ministry of Labour launched the “PUOI” (Protezione Unita a Obiettivo integrazione) project for the social and labour integration of vulnerable migrants, an initiative focused on asylum seekers, beneficiaries of international or special protection and former unaccompanied minors. Eighty-six per cent of the Ukrainian nationals involved are women, as martial law in Ukraine prevents most men from leaving the country, except in special cases.

At the beginning of the emergency, Italy focused on aiding meet basic needs. Subsequently, it shifted to promoting integration pathways to include those without employment and housing.

Average profile of beneficiaries

80% of the people involved in these assistance and support projects are aged between 30 and 39. The data also show that 81% of these Ukrainian citizens have at least a high school diploma, while 41% have at least a university degree (rising to 45% for women). However, only 25% of Ukrainian diplomas are recognised in Italy.

72% of the participants found accommodation in host families and private institutions.

Training projects

70% of the traineeships started (118 in total) were successfully completed. The trainees were mainly placed in hotels and restaurants (24%), service enterprises (20%) and commercial enterprises (10%). Other sectors were manufacturing (7%), health and social work (6%), education (6%) and 4% of the trainees were placed in local authorities.

Italy allocated €31,133,046 to finance linguistic integration, social integration, and school continuity projects for the 3,702 schools receiving Ukrainian pupils. As of December 2022, there were 19,617 Ukrainian students enrolled in Italy, distributed among pre-school, primary and secondary schools.

All assistance and reception measures for the Ukrainian population have been extended until 31 December 2023.

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