MIGRATIONS TRAJECTORIES FROM AFRICA ILLEGALITY AND GENDER

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF PORTUGAL AND ITALY

(PIHM/GC/0046/2008) 

 

CoordinationMarzia Grassi

Team membersMarianna Bacci Tamburlini, Pedro Rodrigues, Tatiana Ferreira, Augusto Nascimento, Alberto Sobrero, Martina Giuffré, Caterina Cingolani and Francesco Fanoli

 

Abstract

The aim of this project is to rethink the notion of illegal immigration in Portugal and Italy, emphasising the gender differences involved  in the legal sphere and in the self perception and in representation of individual in host countries. Illegal practices create different challenges depending on the gender and social category of the immigrants concerned. Different social conditions and identities result in differing conditions of access to labor markets and to citizenship rights, as well as in  situations of lesser or greater vulnerability to human rights abuses (UNFPA 2006).

This project seeks to establish that the notion illegality cannot be rethought without taking into account the recognition of gender differences in the experiences of migrants, in the same way that they form part of human experience in general. This interpretative approach to "illegal" migration is seen as an important step in extending an analysis, which seeks to clarify illegality as a pertinent theoretical topic in the contemporary European context.

The analysis is based on two cases studies carried out in Portugal and Italy. In the Portuguese study, analysis will focus on migratory flows from Portugal's former colonies, which remain the largest source of immigrants into Portugal which, recently, have been characterized by an increased percentage of migrant women. These are long-standing migratory flows with historic roots that result in enduring perceptions and representations of identity that are moving away from the classic model of family migration, in which men emigrate first and are then joined by women through family reunification laws, to a model involving an increasing number of single women seeking work, mainly in unskilled sectors.

According to the OCDE (2008), two in five of the approximately 4.5 million immigrants living in Italy are illegal. Eritrean immigrant maintained some historical link with Italy grounded in the colonial past. The Moroccan and Senegalese immigrant communities, two of the largest, differ in the way they integrate and in their relationship with their country of origin. In the north of Italy, Senegalese immigrants tend to remain in Italy, while maintaining strong ties with Senegal. In the centre and south of Italy, they work in small shops, civil construction and agriculture and are one of the immigrant communities most subject to local illegal practices. Moroccan workers (mainly men) tend to maintain stronger ties with their country of origin and to be engaged in seasonal work in commerce, agriculture and services. Nigerian women are perceived as illegal migrant and represent a very vulnerable group for exploitation. 

Data collection involve a total of 100 interviews with immigrants from these communities in Portugal and Italy, complemented by statistical data and media coverage from the previous year relating to gender representations of illegal practices relating to migration.

 

Results

2013

Grassi, Marzia and Martina Giuffrè (Org.)2013. Vite transnazionali, illegalità e genere, SEID Editori, Firezenze.

Grassi, Marzia. 2013. "Intruduzione", in Marzia Grassi and Martina Giuffrè (Eds.), Vite (il)legali. Migranti africani in Italia e Portogallo, SEID Editori, Firenze, pp. 9-20.

Grassi, Marzia. 2013. "Mobilità, illegalità e genere: Portogallo e Italia a confronto", in Marzia Grassi and Martina Giuffrè (Eds.), Vite (il)legali. Migranti africani in Italia e Portogallo, SEID Editori, Firenze, pp. 21-33.

Rodrigues, Pedro e Grassi, Marzia. 2013. "Migranti e criminalità nella stampa portoghese", in Marzia Grassi and Martina Giuffrè (Eds.), Vite (il)legali. Migranti africani in Italia e Portogallo, SEID Editori, Firenze, pp. 185-2014.

Grassi, Marzia e Giuffrè, Martina. 2013. "Conclusioni", in Marzia Grassi and Martina Giuffrè (Eds.), Vite (il)legali. Migranti africani in Italia e Portogallo, SEID Editori, Firenze, pp. 205-216.

Ferreira, Tatiana. 2013. "L’ illegalità attraverso le generazioni: il caso del Portogallo", in Marzia Grassi and Martina Giuffrè (Eds.), Vite (il)legali. Migranti africani in Italia e Portogallo, SEID Editori, Firenze, pp. 165-184.

 

Bacci Tamburlini, Marianna. 2013. “Paradoxes of illegality: migrants and migratory laws in Portugal”, in Marzia Grassi and Martina Giuffrè (Eds.), Vite (il)legali. Migranti africani in Italia e Portogallo, SEID Editori, Firenze, pp. 133-164.

2012

Final report in English

2011

- International Seminar “Migrations, Illegality and Gender: Some evidence from Portugal and Italy”, 23 November, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon.

- Graw, Knut, Seminar “On the Cause of Migration: Notes from the African-European Borderzone”, 27 September, ICS-UL.

- Campani, Giovanna, Seminar “Labour markets, immigration and European policies in the shadow of the crisis”, 12th April, ICS-UL.

2010

- International Seminar “Migration Trajectories from Africa, illegality and gender”, 12 October, Rome University La Sapienza.

 

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