Camplessness and the (non-)reception system: the emerging of migrant informality in northern Italy from a human rights perspective

  • Sebastian Benedikt University of Göttingen
Keywords: migrants, refugees, informality, migrant mobility, Italy, migrants’ rights


Despite the decrease of arrivals, the routes of migration to Europe are still open and hundreds arrive every month. Italy is overstrained with the migratory influx and informal settlements are emerging as alternative shelters. While boat crossings attract attention, silence prevails over what happens in northern Italy. This article sheds light into informality in northern Italian regions and analyses the living realities from a human rights perspective. For that, an ethnographic research was conducted on the Austrian and French borders. Migrants drop and step-out of the reception system due to the congestion and the deplorable living conditions. They are exposed to violence, criminality, repression and natural hazards; they are highly mobile and suffering increasing marginalization and vulnerability. The institutional answer consists in forced evictions and transfers, leading into a vicious circle of informality. The living realities migrants encounter in Italy are not in line with fundamental human rights and contradict international law.

Received: 02 January 2020
Accepted: 09 May 2020
Published online: 26 June 2020


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How to Cite
Benedikt, Sebastian. 2020. “Camplessness and the (non-)reception System: The Emerging of Migrant Informality in Northern Italy from a Human Rights Perspective”. Deusto Journal of Human Rights, no. 5 (June), 243-68.