Statewatch News Online: Italy: Register for the homeless approved

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Register for the homeless approved
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The interior ministry published a decree on 6 July 2010 to establish a nationwide "anagrafe" (residents' register) for homeless people, which had been envisaged in law 94/2009 on public security, also known as the "security package", whose art. 3 point 39 provides for "establishing a purpose-made national register for people who do not have a fixed residence". The demographic services directorate of the department for internal and territorial matters within the ministry will be responsible for running it and will have access with a search function for "maintenance and updating purposes". It will carry fields concerning the registered position of homeless people. Town councils will have to load available data into the password-protected system by 30 September 2010, including data normally included in the "anagrafe" records, such as their name, surname, tax code, date and place of birth, place where their residence was last registered. The final field in the database entries will be reserved for the homeless, and when it is ticked and the user clicks the "load" (carica) icon, an entry will automatically be loaded in the homeless people's register. Their status as homeless people may be amended once the situation changes, and the database will be searchable, by name, surname and using their tax code [which every citizen is issued at birth].

After ordering that Roma people living in makeshift camps be identified in 2008, at least in Rome, Milan and Naples, the interior ministry is now proceeding to create a register of another group of "undesirables", homeless people. Like the previous measure, it is not a measure that arose out of concerns for their needs, but rather, it became a priority after a violent ordeal involving sexual violence suffered in Rome by a Dutch woman and her partner at the hands of two homeless Romanians in the summer of 2008, leading mayor Gianni Alemanno to call for the census that was being carried out for Roma people living in illegal camps to be extended to homeless people and those who live at the margins of legality.

The measure was included in the security law that was approved in July 2009. Hence, in both cases, the measures are announced with a clear emphasis on "security". It is likely that if criticism surfaces, justifications based on the need for the people in question to be protected or assisted will be voiced (as happened in relation to Roma children when the measures on Roma people were criticised as discriminatory), although the measures are introduced by the interior ministry for "security" purposes rather than by the ministry for social affairs.


Legge 15 luglio 2009, n. 94, "Disposizioni in materia di sicurezza pubblica" [pdf]

Ministero dell'interno, Decreto 6 luglio 2010, "Modalità di funzionamento del registro delle persone senza fissa dimora"

Ministero dell'interno, Dipartimento per gli Affari Interni e Territoriali, circolare n. 22, 21.7.2010. [pdf]

Il Messaggero, 24.8.2008; Alleanza Nazionale website, "Censimento per i senza fissa dimora"

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