The Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) has denounced the shortcomings of Italy's integration system that leaves thousands of recognised refugees in an extremely precarious situation.
To illustrate the problem, a press conference was held on 30 December 2010, at the premises of the former Somali embassy in Rome, where 140 Somali refugees live in degrading conditions, with no access to basic sanitary services. Only in Rome, around 1500 refugees face similar problems. CIR underlines that Italy is bound by the EU directive on reception conditions to offer material support to asylum seekers while they await a decision on their applications, but once the person has been recognised as a refugee the assistance ceases.
It is so difficult for refugees to get by in Italy without support that many choose to leave the country. However, they end up being sent back to Italy because they only have residence rights in the country which has granted them refugee status.