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“Survey Exposes Concerning Perceptions of Racism Towards Africans in Italy”

"Survey Exposes Concerning Perceptions of Racism Towards Africans in Italy"

A recent survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Italian chapter of the health development NGO Amref has shed light on the prevailing perceptions of racism towards Africans in Italy. The survey, titled ‘Africa and Health: The opinion of Italians’, unveils a troubling sentiment among the Italian populace, with seven out of ten individuals acknowledging the prevalence of racism and discrimination against people of African origin in the country.

Released as part of the third edition of the survey, the findings indicate that a significant majority of Italians perceive Africans in Italy to be frequent (22%) or quite often (48%) subjected to racism and discrimination. The study, based on a sample of 800 respondents and conducted in October 2023, was unveiled by Amref Italia on Wednesday, March 20, coinciding with the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

In a notable revelation from the survey’s ‘Africa in Italy’ segment, only 11% of Italians accurately estimated the current African population in Italy, which stands at approximately 1.2 million. A staggering 71% of respondents underestimated the presence of Africans, while 18% overestimated it. Additionally, misconceptions persisted regarding the proportion of foreign citizens hailing from Africa, with 34% overestimating their numbers.

Concerns regarding integration were also evident, with 53% of respondents expressing the view that too many African citizens reside in Italy and do not always harmonize with the local populace. Similarly, an equal percentage believed that integration in the country was either absent or insufficient. Factors hindering integration, as identified by respondents, ranged from perceptions of Italian companies viewing African immigrants solely as cheap labor to cultural differences and the perceived lack of adequate integration programs.

Roberta Rughetti, deputy director of Amref-Italia, emphasized the urgent need to address systemic racism embedded within Italian society. She underscored the importance of dismantling obstacles that contribute to the marginalization of discriminated individuals and those of African descent, both within private and social spheres.

Amref advocates for a new citizenship law aimed at fostering social justice, a sentiment echoed by 64% of survey respondents. The proposed legislation would grant Italian citizenship to foreign-born individuals after a specified period of residence or through alternative criteria, including educational attainment. Notably, 75% of respondents favored extending citizenship rights to children of foreign immigrants born or raised in Italy, highlighting a growing call for inclusive policies.



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