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.
Following the 2020 reform, the Procedure Decree exempts unaccompanied children and/or persons in need of special procedural guarantees from the accelerated procedure.
Before the reform, in 2019, the MoI circulars issued on 16 October 2019 and on 18 October 2019, excluded 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.
 Article 13(2) Procedure Decree.
 Article 18(2-bis) Reception Decree.
 Article 32(3-bis) Procedure Decree.
 Article 28(2) (b) Procedure Decree.
 Article 7(2) PD 21/2015.
 Article 6(2) Procedure Decree.
 Article 28 bis (6) Procedure Decree, as amended by Decree Law 130/2020 and L 173/2020.
 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.