Italy | Towards a greater protection of the best interests of the child

In the legal framework of unaccompanied foreign minors’ protection, a crucial role is played by Law n° 47/2017 (the so-called ‘Zampa Law’) that puts the best interests of the child in the foreground (for further information click here). The Zampa law represents a fundamental legal protection for minors arriving alone on Italian territory, minors who cannot be rejected and will benefit from a protection and inclusion system throughout the national territory.

On 13 December 2022 the Presidential Decree 191/22 published in the Official Journal, amended the Regulation implementing the Consolidated Immigration Act (Presidential Decree 394/99), adapting it to the provisions of Law 47/2017 on the protection of unaccompanied foreign minors.

After five years of parliamentary work, it was decided to address some important issues related to this law:

News about residence permit:

  • Unaccompanied minors are included in the category of those who MUST NOT submit any documentation to request the issuance of a residence permit. With this amendment, a practice affirmed in the past is now provided at the regulatory level. Previously, lack of uncertainties and exceptions occurred.
  • The amendments clarify that the duration of the residence permit for minors covers the entire period up to the age of majority.
  • The amendments clarify that the residence permit for minors issued allows young migrants TO CARRY OUT WORK (or training, aimed at integration towards adulthood) in compliance with child labour’s provisions.
  • The ‘residence permit for integration’ and the procedures for its release are provided by the Italian Juvenile Court through a decree.
  • Another particularly significant innovation is the introduction of the possibility for who is denied international protection after the age of 18, to apply for the conversion of the residence permit for reasons of study, work or health needs.
  • The passport cannot be demanded for the request of a residence permit for minors and integration.

Read the full document here.