In 2016 there were more than 25,800 Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (MSNA) who arrived by sea in our country. This is 14% of the total number of migrants arrived in Italy. The data for 2017, updated to 31 August, reveal the presence of 1886 MSNAs. In particular, in Veneto there is the presence of 311 MSNA. The overhead of responsibility of a significant number of MSNA brings out the absolute necessity of the figure of the voluntary guardian who is now regulated by the law n.47 / 2017, aimed at promoting and strengthening the safeguards guaranteed to minors, often subject to traffic from part of criminal organizations and therefore in danger of:

  • Working and sexual exploitation
  • Forced organ donation
  • Drug dealing
  • Treat
  • Smuggling and begging

Why become a volunteer tutor?
"Social parenting" and "active citizenship"

The reasons to welcome and spread this initiative appeal to our civic and moral sense as citizens sensitive to a phenomenon as dramatic as that of children who reach by themselves, without any protection our country. Volunteer guardians can help to help the weakest, fleeing wars and misery in an attempt to change their lives. Offering them human support, even before bureaucratic or practical, is essential for the positive outcome of policies that are inclusive and supportive.

MSNA and volunteer tutor: Speech by Paola Zuliani at the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice International Convention, Vatican City, May 2017)

The figure of the volunteer guardian: so far 1,800 candidates
Who is and what does the voluntary guardian do?

The tutor supervises the reception conditions and integration paths in collaboration with the institutions and is functional to the legal and humanitarian support of the MSNA. Up to now, this task has been carried out by an institutional figure, mayor or councilor, effectively preventing an interpersonal relationship, given the large number of MSNAs entrusted. Now even a private citizen can become a tutor and perform multiple functions, including:

  • Assist the MSNA in submitting the application for residence for minority or political asylum
  • To act as a point of contact and legal representative in the school / training procedures
  • Participate in the identification phase of the minor
  • To entertain relationships with social services or foster families that have to pay the minor
  • Give informed consent in decisions and health interventions
The FAQs of the Authority for Children and Adolescents fully clarify the potential of this figure

Protection does not imply either cohabitation or economic support for the child, that it is up to the entrant instead. In most cases, these children arrived in Italy without a family, are entrusted to reception facilities. The guardian is not responsible for the behavior of the child, either from a criminal point of view, or from a civil point of view, unless, from the latter point of view, you do not live with him.

What are the requirements to become a voluntary guardian?

The prerequisites for becoming a voluntary guardian show how accessible this path is for private citizens who have the following characteristics:

  • Italian citizenship or other EU citizenship provided they hold a residence permit, with knowledge of the Italian language
  • Residence in Italy
  • Age not less than 25 years
  • Enjoyment of civil and political rights
  • Absence of criminal convictions, criminal proceedings or procedures for the application of security or prevention measures
  • Absence of conditions of "incapacity for the tutelary office" required by law (Article 350, Civil Code)
  • Unexceptionable conduct
  • Availability of time and energy to exercise the function

How to become a volunteer tutor?

To become a voluntary guardian, applications must be submitted in accordance with the procedures specified in the public notices issued at regional level. The Veneto has anticipated the law 47/2017 and has already established the Volunteer Guarding Registers. To have more information on the new outgoing notices, it is advisable to refer to the contacts of the Regional Guarantors.

Mirella Gallinaro, regional guarantor of personal rights, is responsible for the Veneto region.

The subjects identified by the regional authorities for children and adolescents will then have to complete a free multidisciplinary training, declined in three specific modules:

  • Training on the phenomenological framework
  • Training on the legal context
  • Training with a psycho-social health focus

In Veneto a first course has already been started. Subsequently, the aspiring volunteer tutors can be enrolled in the dedicated lists and be available to the formal appointment by the tutelary judge. So far, around 1,800 people nationwide have responded to calls issued since July. They are mostly women between 45 and 60 years, with a majority residing in Lazio, followed by Piedmont and Lombardy.

Useful numbers

Save The Children Migrants Helpline:
800 14 10 16
from monday to friday 10 to 17

Regional guarantor of the Veneto of personal rights:
041 238.3422/3423
email: [email protected]
Via Brenta Vecchia, 8 - 30172 MESTRE-VENEZIA


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