4.5 Initiatives promoting social inclusion and raising awareness
Institutional initiatives aimed at promoting interculturality and inclusion of young people with migrant backgrounds find in association, school and sport the areas of predominant development. For each of these areas, the most significant and recent interventions are reported.
In terms of intercultural awareness, the establishment of the National Coordination of Italian New Generations (CoNNGI), an association founded in 2017 as part of the activities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, is certainly to be considered among the most important initiatives. The objective of CoNNGI is to represent all young people with a migrant background. CoNNGI is made up of about 35 associations of young people and currently involves up to 5,000 people from all over Italy.
The CoNNGI elaborates and periodically updates the Manifesto of the new Italian generations; a policy document also intended for educators and consultants that aims to contribute to the definition of policies for inclusion of young people with migrant backgrounds.
A series of initiatives promoted by the Ministry of Education and Merit (ex MIUR) considers schools as a key-space for the promotion of intercultural dialogue and for raising awareness on multiculturalism among the students and the teaching staff. Among the most recent initiatives in this area, there are the following activities:
Specific projects have been activated aimed at pupils with a migration background and at unaccompanied foreign minors (MSNA), financed by the European program FAMI (Fondo Asilo Migrazioni e Integrazione), intended for migrant integration policies. Seven FAMI projects have so far been activated by the Directorate General for Students of the Ministry of Education, within the FAMI 2014-2020 Programme, to which is added a further project financed by the EU in the context of Emergency Measures.
Sport is a further area on which a series of initiatives for multiculturality are promoted. Since 2014, a series of initiatives have been implemented to promote the inclusion and integration of first and second generation migrant citizens through sport and to counteract forms of discrimination and intolerance. These activities are fostered through a programme agreement on Sport and Integration signed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies and CONI. Among the initiatives promoted under the programme, there are:
- Drafting a Sports and Integration Manifesto containing guidelines for people working in sport. The manifesto aims to ensure equal access to sport, ban physical and verbal violence, combat discrimination and sporting unfairness;
- Educational-information campaigns focused on the values of sport, fair play and integration. These campaigns target primary and secondary schools throughout the country;
- Information and communication campaigns on the web and social networks, but also through traditional media as well as through the organisation of local events. Targeting primarily young people, these campaigns have involved several athletes with migrant background as testimonials;
- Experimentation of the "Sports and Integration" teaching module in five Italian universities. The module offers future sport teachers the tools to address the educational challenges of multicultural groups;
- Institution of the award in memory of Emiliano Mondonico for coaches engaged in the social inclusion of disadvantaged young people and young people with a migrant background;
- VISPI Project in Sardinia, dedicated to girls and boys aged 14 to 19, to bring sociality back to the center of the lives of Sardinian teenagers. The initiative is characterized by a voucher provided by the Sardinia Region in collaboration with CONI and spendable in local gyms.
- M5C2.3 SPORT AND SOCIAL INCLUSION, Investment 3.1: The investment of 700 million is aimed at encouraging the recovery of urban areas by focusing on sports facilities and on the creation of equipped urban parks, in order to promote inclusion and social integration, especially in the most deprived areas and with particular attention to disadvantaged people.
Another important agreement exists between the Ministry of Sport and UNAR - National Anti-Racial Discrimination Office to define an action plan for the prevention and fight against discrimination and violence in the sporting field.
The main awareness-raising actions on the issue of young people's rights are carried out by the Children and Young people’s Ombudsman (AGIA). Established in 2011, the AGIA oversees the full implementation and protection of the rights of children and adolescents under the provisions of a set of international rules on the promotion and protection of the rights of children and adolescents.
The AGIA independently promotes projects and campaigns aimed at ensuring that children and young people know their rights and the awareness about their rights amongst adults and institutions. In addition, the Memorandum of Understanding signed by AIGA and MIUR identifies common objectives regarding the safeguarding and dissemination of children's and young people's rights in relation to study, well-being and play. As part of this collaboration, some joint outreach initiatives have been launched targeting young people and schools. An example is the mini-guide "distance learning and student rights" which offers reflections and stimuli starting with the “Manifesto of the school that never stops” of the Ministry of Education and Merit and the UN Convention on the rights of children and adolescents.
Initiatives to safeguard democracy and prevent violent radicalisation
Concerning the safeguarding of democracy and the prevention of violent radicalisation, Italy has implemented a number of outreach activities aimed at combating hate speech.
Since 2013, the Department for Youth Policy and The Universal Civil Service has joined the Council of Europe's No Hate Speech Movement Campaign, which involved various ministries and departments of the Presidency of the Council in an inter-institutional table aiming at raising awareness among young people about all forms of hatred and intolerance towards the "different" carried out through the web and on the hate speech’s impact on young people. The initiative is currently being carried out by civil society through a support group made by several organisations led by APICE - Agenzia di Promozione Integrata per i Cittadini in Europa.
Conducted primarily through multimedia content and social pages, the campaign also organises:
- online and offline activities on cyber-bullying, racism, homo-trans-biphobia, islamophobia, antisemitism and antiziganism;
- training courses for young people on counter-narratives to hate speech using the Council of Europe's manuals "Bookmarks" and "WECAN!" which they translated into Italian.
- A National Group of Online Activists that produces content to counter hate speech, promoting the campaign and disseminating its tools and methodologies with the human rights based approach coming from the Council of Europe.