In 2015 the total number of migrants arrived by sea in Italy is more than 153.800 including over 16.300 children and 75% of them are children that travel alone. As the crisis unfolds, Save the Children Italy has been running programs at the southern borders of Italy and in areas of transit. Save the Children Italy has been leading on the political, advocacy and programmatic issues of EU migration and refugees on behalf of European members through the Med Core Group.
The majority of Eritrean and Somali unaccompanied children who reach the Italian coasts (Lampedusa, Sicily, Calabria and Apulia) disappear immediately. Rome and Milan are cities of transit of migrants who mainly come from Eritrea and declared their goal to reach northern EU countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany). In this second phase of their journey mainly unaccompanied children are often victims of trafficking and exploitation.
Since the beginning of the project we have reached almost all children arrived at the Southern Borders and have been present in almost all disembarkation areas and First Reception Centre in Lampedusa, Sicily, Calabria and Apulia to support local Authorities addressing the immediate needs of children with social workers and legal advisors. In Rome, Milan and Turin, Save the Children has been working on the CivicoZero Project aimed to provide support and protect unaccompanied children in transit.
In the Southern Borders we support the authorities in the identification of long-term solutions in the children's best interest. Indead, CivicoZero Project is divided into: Mobile units, on the streets to trace and contact the most vulnerable migrant children in the most strategic points for exploitation; day centres which offer migrant children basic services (food, clothes, shower), legal consultation to help children know their rights and how to ask for asylum.