Italy in the forefront of refugee inflow: A pilot training course for humanitarian interpreters

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1 Italy in the forefront of refugee inflow: A pilot training course for humanitarian interpreters Mariachiara Russo Department of Interpreting and Translation University of Bologna Forlì Campus Sofia, 17 March 2018

2 Outline Brief overview of the present situation concerning refugees in Italy Steps of the present asylum seeking procedures Current linguistic assistance: weaknesses and opportunities Interpreting skills and languages required Pilot basic course for humanitarian interpreters in Forlì in collaboration with the University of Geneva

3 Overview of the REFUGEE situation in Italy Sea Arrivals in 2018: 5,258 (01 Mar 2018) Previous years Sea arrivals Dead and missing ,369 2, ,436 4, ,842 2, ,100 3,093

4 Sea Arrivals to Italy Unfortunately, the remarkable drop in sea arrivals between 2016 (181,436) and 2017 (119,369) is not due to an improved situation in refugee producing countries, but to the agreement signed in July 2016 between Italian and Lybian authorities providing Lybian coastal guards with equipment to stop arrivals. The humanitarian consequences are dramatic: fleeing refugees are brought back to Lybian abusive detention centres and rescue operations by NGOs are hindered at gunpoint.

5 Top 10 Nationalities Country of origin Source Data date Population Nigeria 31 Jan % 18,370 Guinea 31 Jan % 9,833 Côte d'ivoire 31 Jan % 9,687 Bangladesh 31 Jan % 9,036 Eritrea 31 Jan % 8,236 Mali 31 Jan % 7,225 Tunisia 31 Jan % 6,762 Sudan 31 Jan % 6,347

6 Applications for International Protection in Submitted Examined Approved

7 Decisions on applications 50% Rejected 24% Humanitarian Protection 9% Subsidiary Protection 9% Refugee Status

8 3-tier Refugee Reception Network First Aid and Assistance CPA or HOTSPOT (4) CIE (Identification and expulsion centre) Regional hub

9 Refugee Reception Network First-line reception facilities: (Regional hubs) FIRST ACCOMODATION CENTERS (15)

10 Refugee Reception Network Second-line reception facilities: SPRAR (Protection system for asylum seekers and refugees: municipalities and NGOs) CAS (Temporary extra accomodation centre: profit and non-profit organizations)

11 Refugee Reception Network Total number of beneficiaries (23Jan 2017) : First-line reception centers: (8%) Second-line reception centers: (78%) in CAS (14%) in SPRAR

12 Asylum Seeking Procedure Border Police or Local Police Authority (Questura) Application (C3 form) Preparation of a written report Territorial Commission for the Recognition of International Protection first instance decisions (Report and Interview) (20 Commissions + 30 Subcommissions)

13 Recruitment of Interpreters Public tenders request for consecutive interpretation Duration: pluriannual and nation-wide vs 3-month and local contracts for agencies (now) Lack of reliable selection and quality control criteria by Agencies Supplying Agency -Interpreter remuneration gap 27,5 /h vs aprox 9 /h net

14 Pilot basic course for humanitarian interpreters: ORIGIN Collaboration with University of Geneva: Barbara Moser (InZone) and Manuela Motta (Faculté de Traduction et d Interprétation, FTI ) after 2016 Forlì Conference on Human Rights Contact with President of the Territorial Commission in Forlì: ü20 Languages required, aprox 50 interpreters ü main communication issues

15 Course Objectives: Familiarize interpreters with Awarereness of the role: A bilingual person is not necessarily an interpreter Cultural issues Conversational Dynamics Professional ethics Basic skills in consecutive interpreting Basic knowledge of Italian & EU legislation and procedures concerning international protection Better comprehension and production skills in Italian (esp. colloquial and specialized registers) Terminology

16 Course Setup Design: Adaptation of FTI Model to Italian context Type: Blended Learning (free-of-charge) 2-day, face-to-face training for the theoretical part and to build a community of practice online one-to-one tutorial via FTI virtual platform Duration: June 30 th October 27 th 2017 Post-training collective evaluation F-T-F session FTI and DIT Certificate of attendance

17 Virtual platform 6 on-line activities (IT>IT and EN/FR>IT) 1 collective activity: specialised glossary Forum

18 Course Staff Mariachiara Russo(Forlì) face-to-face (F-T-F) trainer and coordinator Manuela Motta (Geneva) F-T-F trainer and online supervision María Jesús Gónzalez Rodríguez (Forlì) F-T-F and online trainer Maura Radicioni (Forlì) F-T-F and online trainer

19 Participants

20 Participants Details 12 interpreters (9 females, 3 men) Nationalities: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia, Ucraina Languages: Arabic, Bambara, Broken English, Hindi, Ibo, Malinké, Pidgin English, Pular, Punjabi, Urdu, Wolof, Yoruba, French, English, Russian, Spanish

21 Pre-training Survey Specific difficulties during interviews: Asylum seeker s illiteracy Gender-based refusal (man vs woman interpreter) Asylum seeker s doubt on date of birth Finding words Lack of collaboration from members of the Commission Interviewers raising their voices and treating asylum seekers as in police interrogations Listening to sad stories

22 Post-training Survey Difficulties with: Use of online platform Understanding and speaking Italian Self-evaluation Active listening and memorization Note-taking

23 Improvement in: Post-training Survey Understanding and speaking Italian Note-taking Knowledge of international protection legislation and terminology Request for: More face-to-face training Further training

24 Future prospects Organize meetings between members of the Territorial Commission and interpreters to foster mutual understanding and trust Disseminate the Basic Course for Humanitarian Interpreters among other Territorial Commissions Meet the need for interpreter s native language training Remote interpreting by trained humanitarian interpreters (Shift in orality Project


26 Thank you for your attention! Grazie!

27 Mariachiara Russo Dipartimento di Interpretazione e Traduzione