Human Rights in Context

Treatment of Refugees in Italy with Marina Schirone

July 24, 2020 Matt Sands Season 1 Episode 2
Human Rights in Context
Treatment of Refugees in Italy with Marina Schirone
Show Notes

Marina Schirone, is Director of civil society organisation Mama Africa, based in Bari, Italy. Mama Africa promotes the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society.

Marina moved to the UK in 2018 after working for almost 10 years at one of the biggest "reception" centres in southern Italy, in Bari, as an interpreter, translator and caseworker, where some 30,000 asylum claims were processed during the height of the 'refugee crisis'. As Marina says, "Italy was not prepared for such an emergency."

In our interview, we explore the treatment of asylum claimants who have recently arrived in Italy, having fled across the Mediterranean from Libya; Marina's experience working in the reception centre in Bari; the establishment of Mama Africa, that provides services for people who have recently arrived and explores the commonality between the new arrivals and the local community through various cultural exchanges; and we finish with a discussion of how interpreters and human rights professionals can cope with experiences of trauma told by others.

 Links from the episode:

1. Mama Africa Facebook page:

2. Refugee projects in Bari described by Marina:

3. 'Fuocoammare' film ('Fire at Sea')

4. Exodus; Escape from Libya; a blog with a collection of voice messages from people detained in Libya:

5. Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey, written by Margriet Ruurs

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