Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Roberto Calderoli, Deputy President of the Italian Senate has likened Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge to an “orang-utan”.Article 2/1: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.In recent days, a banana had been thrown at Kyenge, who has faced the third racist attack in three months. Kyenge has said that Italian society is not racist and that she will not back down in the face of attacks designed to make her resign.Above we have the first two articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ratified by the UN in the Paris, a European centre and news from another European centre, Rome, 55 years after the declaration was ratified.Another piece of reporting one often hears in connection with Italy is the death of illegal immigrants in a small boat off the country’s coasts. The reporting always gives details of which officials visited the area where the disaster took place. The point should rather be what these officials have done and the solutions they have proposed to prevent a repetition of these events. The immigration law which has had a few minor amendments in late 2013 makes legal entry to and residence in Italy almost impossible. It is no coincidence that Italy is the scene of such disasters, given that it is so difficult to live and work there and that it is one of the first countries on the path of immigrants to Northern Europe.Rather than solving this problem, the new regulation tries to attain old objectives through new means. The government, which is having difficult relations with the EU and its own citizens due to the economic crisis is not offering a flower covered path for immigrants.Someone who is not a citizen of the EU has only one recourse in order to be employed legally in Italy. An Italian employer has to seek out and invite this person to work in Italy. Italian law does not allow non-EU citizens to live in Italy while they look for work.That the immigrant should continue to live in Italy after getting employment these despite all bureaucratic obstacles depends on the whim of the Italian employer. The employer can fire the person at any point and cause them to be repatriated. If a person who has received a working permit for a limited amount of time may get a residency permit only if he or she is unemployed towards the end of this period. These may be the death throes of the Italian economy which cannot secure employment for its own workforce and which suffocates its own citizens with taxation rising up to 60 per cent. As Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge, who left her country when she was 18 years old to live in Italy says: “Immigration is wealth and differences are resources.” What matters is to not allow discrimination, to learn as much as possible from differences and allow other doors to open.Yet the immigrants in Italy may not have the optimism displayed by Kyenge, who was subjected to racist attacks, to wait to be treated differently by the government and the Italian people may not be able to see the potential in a political atmosphere in which a minister resident in the country for 30 years is subjected to discrimination by the deputy president of the senate. Anıl Gedik