• Making it Through: Pioneer Migration Pathways of Moldovans in Italy

    This paper is intended to examine the pioneer Moldovan migration in Italy in the early 2000s and the role of networks in the perpetuation of a self‐sustaining migration system. Through narrative recollections of the incipient stage of the Moldovan migratory experience, this paper follows the transition from aspiring but unauthorized movers to regularized residents of the host country. Pioneer migration trajectories will be documented across three main stages: departure preparations, transborder journey and arrival in the destination country. Further on, the paper looks into the migrant agency and corresponding survival resources, which played a significant role the realisation of migration aims.

  • Costs and benefits of labor migration on migrants’ professional trajectories and their households’ well-being: comparative case study of Ukrainian labor migration to Italy and Ireland.

    Based on the interviews with Ukrainian migrants of different regularity statuses in Italy and the Republic of Ireland, this study sets off to unbox the notion of “regularity” as a clear-cut and unambiguous state and explore in depth the fragmentation of status and rights that the process of regularization often entail. The study also looks at the emerging compensating mechanisms and networks that are developed by migrants in place of the institutional dead-ends. Legality and regularity in migration, – that are often presented in policy making as a black and white matter, – are in practice, a complex and lengthy process for migrating individuals. In public debates and policy-making legal / regularized migrants are often presented as welcome and wanted while illegal ones as unwanted and often criminal.

    In practice, however, a lengthy process of regularization and the lack of communication between various state institutions involved create a vast number of forms of semi-regular states of liminal legality (Menjivar 20116) among migrants, where family members often have different status. Many spent years suspended in processes of applying, re-applying and (re-)validating their status. All of these shades of regularity open or close certain doors to employment, mobility, social services, health and studying opportunities and, to a great extent, affect people’s professional opportunities, migratory decisions and trajectories, family rights and personal lives. The research looks into access to labor market, social security and opportunities for mobility for Ukrainian migrants in countries that have different immigration regimes.

  • The Labour Market of the Others: Economic strategies in Four Eastern European Roma communities in Campania, Italy

    The paper focuses on the participation of Roma in the informal labour market in the light of some widely used concepts like the East-West migration, the Roma migration as such and the North-South distinction in public discourses. In certain contexts the boundaries of informal-formal, legal-semi-legal and illegal that are strongly context-based and driven by cultural and social factors, just like by economic and policy interests, closely intersect with questions that arise around migration. Through the case of Naples and Caserta and 4 Eastern-European Roma communities living in these territories I reflect on these concepts highlighting how relative they become when coinciding in one place. The word ‘others’ in the title has triple meaning: the stigmatised region, the immigrants and above all the Roma immigrants are often the others in public discourses. In this approach Naples and Caserta are not dealt like ‘exceptions’, but typical scenes of contemporary dynamics, where certain phenomena show higher density and visibility, e.g. the difference between the control on boundaries and the ‘common sense’. Beside other factors, the fluidity of boundaries, the high unemployment rate on the formal labour market maintains an informal market where the ‘trickery’ becomes the centric element of everyday strategies of struggling. In the context of Naples (historically) the tolerance towards these activities seems to be the key of maintenance of ‘social piece’.

    The paper describes a selection of typical economic strategies of Roma from Eastern Europe, the place of Roma on the informal labour market compared to Italians, other immigrants and other Roma groups. The low position and its value has to be contextualised compared to the financial, social and cultural ‘profit’ gained both in the destination and source country, just like the questions of discrimination, exclusion and their role in identity construction and well-being. The paper also focuses on how the regularisation and housing policies intersect with the exclusion from the formal labour market and how the policies influence the survival strategies. Nowadays the crisis seems to change the established balance: the recent conflicts around low-status informal activities between Italians, different immigrant groups, show up the broken points of this system. The research results are based on a fieldwork implemented in four Roma communities in Campania region in Italy. The participatory observation and interviews made with community members are supplemented with the analysis of the legislative framework and policy context and interviews conducted with NGOs, experts and policy-makers.

    This paper can be accessed on demand, please contact the fellow directly.

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