Friday, Apr 18th

Last update12:43:14 PM GMT

Immigration news

Employment Equality - Italy taken to EU's Court of Justice

The European Commission has referred Italy to the EU's Court of Justice concerning the transposition of Directive 2000/78/EC, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.

Directive 2000/78/EC establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment, occupation and vocational training (Employment Equality Directive).

The Directive covers direct and indirect discrimination, as well as harassment in employment and training on the grounds of religion or belief, age, disability or sexual orientation. It includes specific requirements for reasonable accommodation for disabled people.

The Commission brought infringement proceedings against Italy (IP/09/1620) following its failure to fully implement the EU Directive.

Italy is being referred to the Court of Justice for having incorrectly transposed the Directive. Article 5 of the Directive requires that the employer provide reasonable accommodation for disabled persons so that they can have access to employment and advance in their careers.

In referring Italy to the Court of Justice, the Commission pointed out that Italy has not completely transposed this provision, as Italian law does not provide for a general rule whereby the employer has to provide for reasonable accommodation for all disabled persons and regarding all aspects of employment.

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Italy to issue temporary permits to Tunisian migrants

Tunisian authorities have agreed to reinforce controls to avoid massive departures of Tunisians to Italy.

Italy’s Home Affairs Minister Roberto Maroni and his Tunisian counterpart Habib Essid sealed the deal on 5th April in Tunis.

Under the deal, Tunisians who have already arrived in Italy by boats will be issued temporary residence permits.

Tunisia will at the same time accept rapid re-admission of its citizens who arrive in Italy illegally.

Italy will donate 10 patrol boats and about 100 jeeps to Tunisia to help the local police control the country’s coasts.

Mr. Maroni said their objective was to block new boat arrivals. “The deal will enable us to do so by fully collaborating with Tunisian security forces and by supplying them all the necessary means,” he said.

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250 migrants missing after boat capsizes near Lampedusa

Italian Coast Guard and local Italian fishing boat rescue 50

More than 250 migrants are feared dead after a boat carrying some 300 people sank in the early hours of the morning, some 40 miles off the island of Lampedusa, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

Forty seven survivors were rescued at sea by the Italian Coast Guard and three by a local Italian fishing boat.   

The vessel, which was laden beyond capacity, had left the Libyan coast with migrants and asylum seekers from Somalia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Cote d'Ivoire, Chad and Sudan. Some 40 women and five children were on board. Only two women survived the shipwreck. 
 
The survivors were transferred to Lampedusa. They told IOM officers who are providing them with first aid and counselling that the boat sank in rough seas.

They say that when rescuers arrived, the boat was already sinking. Survivors managed to swim towards the approaching Coast Guard ship. Many drowned because they couldn't swim or were dragged down by desperate fellow passengers.

"The survivors are all in a state of shock," says IOM's Simona Moscarelli. "One man told me he had lost his one year old son. One of the two surviving women told me how she had lost her husband."

The migrants have been transferred to the Loran base, a facility where the Italian authorities are sheltering migrants coming from Libya, in order not to mix them with the migrants arriving from Tunisia.

Since the beginning of February, the island of Lampedusa has been overwhelmed by the arrival of more than 20,000 migrants. The majority of them are Tunisians coming from the Tunisian port of Zarzis, Djerba and Sfax. Over the past ten days, more than 2,000 mostly African migrants and asylum seekers have landed on the island after having sailed from the Libyan coast.

Since 2006, IOM has been providing assistance to migrants in Lampedusa as part of a project funded by the Italian Government. IOM works alongside UNCHR, Save the Children and Italian Red Cross to monitor reception assistance and to provide legal counselling to migrants who have arrived on the island.

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Cap on non-EU workers comes into force

Green: "We are overhauling all routes of entry to tackle abuses"

Cap on non-EU workers allowed into the UK is now in force. Employers will only be able to bring 20,700 people from outside the EU to work in skilled professions under Tier Two of the system.

A further 1,000 visas will be made available to people of 'exceptional talent' to ensure that Britain remains open to the brightest and the best, Home Office said.

The 1,000 exceptional talent visas will be given to those whom experts believe will make the biggest contribution to science and the arts in the UK.

Prospective workers will need to have a graduate level job, speak an intermediate level of English and meet specific salary and employment requirements. Those earning a salary of £150,000 or more will not be subject to the limit.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "The annual limit will not only help reduce immigration down to sustainable levels but will protect those businesses and institutions that are vital to our economy. The new system was designed in consultation with business.”

Mr. Green said they have made it clear that as the recovery continues, employers should look first to people who are out of work and who are already in the UK.

"We are overhauling all routes of entry to tackle abuses, make the system more effective and bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands," Mr. Green said.

The Intra Company Transfer route (ICT), which is not part of the annual limit, will also be changed in three ways: the job will have to be in an occupation on the graduate occupation list; only those paid £40,000 or more will be able to stay for more than a year. They will be granted for three years with the possibility of extending for a further two; and those paid between £24,000 and £40,000 will be allowed to come to the UK for no longer than 12 months, at which point they must leave and will not be able to re-apply for 12 months.

Tier One of the Points Based System will from now on be restricted to all but entrepreneurs, investors and people of exceptional talent. The old (general) category has been completely abolished due to widespread evidence of abuse, Home Office said.

The 'Exceptional Talent' route will be open to current and prospective leaders in the fields of science, engineering and the arts and will facilitate entry of those who have the most to offer the UK.

Under the new visa rules for investors, those who invest large sums of money will see their right to settle permanently in the UK speed up. Those who invest £5million will be allowed to settle here after three years and those that invest £10million or more will be allowed to settle after two. This compares with the minimum five year requirement that is currently in place. Entrepreneurs will also be able to settle in the UK more quickly if they create ten jobs or turn over £5million in a three year period.

Mr. Green added: "We are sending out a clear message - the UK remains open for business and we want those who have the most to offer to come and settle here. Entrepreneurs and investors can play a major part in our economic recovery and I want to do everything I can to ensure that Britain remains an attractive destination for them.

"Last year we issued far too few visas to those who wish to set up a business or invest in the UK - I intend to change that."

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Decreto flussi: Provincial Labour Office in Modena through with applications

Provincial Labour Office in Modena has finished examining all applications for authorisation to work (Nulla Osta) under the last Quota Agreement (Decreto flussi).

Having given green light to applications meeting the requirements, the Immigrations Office at the Prefecture will now only wait for clearance from the Provincial Police Headquarters before summoning the employers to collect the Nulla Osta.

More than 10,000 applications were submitted in the Province of Modena, but only 1,300 will be lucky to obtain the Nulla Osta.

The striking fact about the case of Modena is that at the Provincial Labour Office, only one officer was in charge of processing all the applications for authorization to work.

The officer called Corrado Spitaleri, will now dedicate himself to processing applications for seasonal workers.

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