COREnet workshop in Sciacca gathered experts, community leaders, and stakeholders to tackle key aspects of immigrant integration

Jun 27, 2024

Sciacca (Italy) hosted a COST Action COREnet workshop titled “Integration and Inclusion: Understanding and Managing Migration in Sicily.” Experts, community leaders, and stakeholders gathered to tackle key aspects of immigrant integration in the region.

The discussions spanned a broad spectrum of challenges and opportunities related to immigration, with a strong emphasis on inclusive social policies, community engagement, and legal protections for migrants. Agnese Sinagra, representing the Municipality of Sciacca, proposed innovative strategies aimed at fostering cultural exchange and nurturing a sense of belonging among diverse communities through the establishment of a “Consulta delle Culture.”

Father Stefano Nastasi shared insights drawn from his experiences in Lampedusa. He highlighted the pivotal role of religious institutions in supporting migrants and promoting social cohesion. He also underscored the importance of collaborative efforts between religious and civil bodies in facilitating successful integration.

Legal expert Emanuela Casà shed light on the complex legal landscape facing immigrants, while representatives from the Quadrifoglio Association shared success stories of migrants integrating into Sicilian society through community-led initiatives and local partnerships.

COREnet member and a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Helsinki Dr. Alessandro Indelicato provided historical context, framing immigration as a natural and transformative phenomenon with profound implications for Sicilian society, both socially and economically. Michelangelo Graffeo advocated for inclusive labour laws tailored to protect immigrant workers and facilitate their smooth integration into the workforce. He stressed the importance of education and training programs for employers to promote understanding and fair treatment in workplaces.

Anissa and Sonia Charferddine, from Paideia Sciacca, shared personal narratives spanning different immigrant experiences in Sicily, illustrating the significant role of community support in fostering successful integration. Their insights inspired the founding of Paideia Sciacca, an initiative aimed at assisting new immigrants in overcoming challenges related to relocation and cultural adjustment.

The journalist Giuseppe Recca addressed the media’s responsibility in shaping public perceptions of immigration, advocating for ethical reporting practices that promote empathy and understanding, and Vito Sclafani concluded with a heartfelt account of humanitarian efforts in rescuing migrants at sea, stressing the urgent need for compassion and solidarity in addressing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean.

The workshop culminated in a collective commitment to collaborative action and continued dialogue among stakeholders to advance integration efforts in Sicily. Participants expressed optimism about leveraging community resources, legal reforms, and ethical journalism to create a more inclusive and resilient environment for migrants in the region.


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