Adequate support during the interview
The Procedure Decree foresees the possibility for asylum seekers in a vulnerable condition to be assisted by supporting personnel during the personal interview even though the legal provision does not specify which kind of personnel. During the personal interview, the applicant may be accompanied by social workers, medical doctors and/or psychologists.
According to Reception Decree, unaccompanied children can be assisted, in every state and degree of the procedure, by the presence of suitable persons indicated by the child, as well as groups, foundations, associations or NGOs with proven experience in the field of assistance to foreign minors and registered in the register referred to in Article 42 TUI, with the prior consent of the child, accredited by the relevant judicial or administrative authority.
Where it emerges that asylum seekers have been victims of slavery or trafficking in human beings, the Territorial Commission transmits the documents to police for the appropriate evaluations.
Prioritisation and exemption from special procedures
Vulnerable persons are admitted to the prioritised procedure. The Territorial Commission must schedule the applicant’s interview “in the first available seat” when that applicant is deemed as vulnerable. In practice, when the police have elements to believe that they are dealing with vulnerable cases, they inform the Territorial Commissions which fix the personal interview as soon as possible, prioritising their case over the other asylum seekers under the regular procedure. Moreover, this procedure is applied also in case the Territorial Commissions receive medico-legal reports from specialised NGOs, reception centres and Health centres.
Children can directly make an asylum application through their parents.
It should be noted, however, that the Procedure Decree does not include any provision for the exemption of unaccompanied children and/or persons in need of special procedural guarantees from the accelerated procedure. No such provisions exist in relation to the border procedure and immediate procedure neither.
However, with the circulars issued on 16 October 2019 and on 18 October 2019, the MoI excludes from the application of the border procedure for attempting to avoid border controls, people rescued at sea following SAR operations, unaccompanied minors and vulnerable persons, referring to regulatory obligations.This entails that they are only exempted when they are in the accelerated procedure for attempting to avoid border procedures. If they would in the accelerated procedure for another reason they would not be exempted.
 Article 13(2) Procedure Decree.
 Article 18(2-bis) Reception Decree.
 Article 32(3-bis) Procedure Decree.
 Article 28(1)(b) Procedure Decree.
 Article 7(2) PD 21/2015.
 Article 6(2) Procedure Decree.
 MoI Circular, 16 October 2019 available in Italian at: https://bit.ly/3gltWmv.
 MOI Circular, 18 October 2019, available in Italian at: https://bit.ly/3gjrlcU.
 Probably, in the absence of internal rules in this sense, the reference is to Article 24 (3) Directive 2013/32/UE. See: Questione Giustizia, Le nuove procedure accelerate: lo svilimento del diritto di asilo, 3 November 2019, available in Italian at : https://bit.ly/2WTPX4d.