MilanFamily reunification, social inclusion and education – an interdisciplinary approach
What is inspiring?
Over the last few years, family reunification has become the most important legal channel for long-term migration to Milan. Usually, family reunification is a procedure entirely regulated by the Italian central government, and local authorities have no involvement in it. In this respect, the city of Milan has broken new ground by signing several agreements with local and national public institutions, and in doing so has strengthened the multi-level and multi-stakeholder governance of the family reunification process.
How does it operate?
The “Lab’Impact” project (September 2018 – December 2020), financed through the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and run by the regional government of Lombardy, has as its main goal the improvement of social inclusion for migrants living in Milan and going through the family reunification procedure. With its interdisciplinary approach and a team made up of experts from different professions, “Lab’ Impact” works to boost existing information, counselling and mediation services in the areas of social inclusion and education. Through the “Lab’ Impact” project, the city of Milan has also started addressing the school system, in an attempt to make it better equipped to adapt to the needs of a multicultural society. This has entailed creating specific opportunities aimed at facilitating inclusion and also addressing the problem of school children from immigrant families dropping out of school early.
What other model projects are there?
In addition, in 2020, the City of Milan opened “WeMi”, a centre for family reunification. The multi-service centre accompanies families as they go through the reunification process, offering counselling, information, volunteering activities, orientation services, advice on school and legal matters and courses on financial literacy.