Migration to Italy has drastically increased, with thousands of refugees traveling by sea to Sicily, a major entry point into the European Union. Upon arrival, authorities send refugees to first reception centers and then transfer them to second reception centers operated by local NGOs. While there is abundant scholarship regarding refugee resettlement, there is little anthropological research specifically concerning the conditions of second reception centers. Based on ethnographic research conducted in 2015 and 2016 at second reception centers for refugees in Siracusa, this article examines how NGO practices shape refugees' experiences after they arrive in Italy. While NGO practices often adversely affect refugees, we argue that good humanitarian aid is possible at second reception centers for refugees throughout Europe. This article highlights the practices of one center for unaccompanied minors that functions as an example of “good aid” by effectively distributing economic and social services, thus facilitating refugees' integration into Italian society. It is important to understand the conditions under which humanitarian aid can have a positive impact on refugee resettlement experiences in order to improve European refugee policy and non-governmental practices and ensure they adequately support the refugee population, particularly unaccompanied minors.
The Effect of Second Reception Center Practices on Refugee Experiences in Sicily
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Russell Rice Manzano, Joanna Mishtal, Shana Harris; The Effect of Second Reception Center Practices on Refugee Experiences in Sicily. Human Organization 1 June 2018; 77 (2): 79–89. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/0018-7259-77.2.79
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