When we reflect on the reality of immigration and then, in the limits of our ability, we try to intervene, we must be prepared to change little by little our interpretative model, because we are called to understand a reality that is constantly changing. However there are – there must be – some markers and we think it’s fair to clarify what is the horizon of interests, values and assessments that we have given ourselves.
We presume that this phenomenon is not stoppable and not to fight. It is the logical consequence of how wealth is distributed in the world.
Policies to halt immigration do nothing but make it difficult and expensive to enter in the richest countries, resulting in the growth of a criminal economy of services for illegal immigration, with trafficking in human beings as the extreme end.
We distrust of rhetoric on immigration, of any kind, and of the hypocrisy and duplicity of those who complain of the presence of undesirable foreigners, when they are so often needed to make up for the deficiencies of the socio-economic fabric of our countries. Women and men exploited and pushed to the margins of society, good to pick vegetables at the cost of a few Euros for each case, to look after our old people day and night, to sew the night as contractors, to offer sexual entertainment.
We certainly do not pretend to explain how we should take on the phenomenon of immigration, but we made a choice of method: less rhetoric as possible and let’s steer clear of hypocrisy.
When choosing who to deal with, we privileged women who live in situations of particular risk , suffering and marginalization. They are not representative of the whole phenomenon of women immigration in Italy, given that this is made up mostly of women who are positively integrated into the social, economic and cultural life of our country.
Even if we decided to deal, first of all, with human trafficking and sex work, we certainly won’t describe female immigration as the domain of exploitation and discrimination, or define sex work as a privileged field of activity. It must be emphasized that the numbers say the opposite, and that stories of success and achievement prevail and qualify the reality of immigration, regardless of gender. These success stories represent the reference point of our interventions. To the women we meet, we offer the model of their fellows in migration, sometimes coming from the same country, to show that it is possible to succeed. We do not propose an hard and paternalistic model of integration, unwittingly Eurocentric, but a flexible one, open to diversity and able to appreciate it.
What we propose to migrant women is the result of an experience of encounter between Italian and foreign people, men and women, which is the basis of our association.
We have identified as our reference value the person in self-determination. Everyone should be free to dispose of himself or herself, within a framework dictated by the laws. For this reason – to return to the issue of sex work to which we deal with for years – we believe that also the choice of working with sex should be guaranteed, if made freely. If exploitation and coercion must be fought hardly, and with all possible means, to women and men should be acknowledged the freedom to dispose of their bodies.
We work alongside people without judging them or pretending to educate them, but carrying an action of information and support to set free their potential.
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