Italian local governments in G2 migrant citizenship campaign

Group wants changes to existing laws

Italian local governments in G2 migrant citizenship campaign

(ANSA) – Rome, November 16 – The national association of Italian town and city councils (ANCI) on Friday stepped up efforts to inform second-generation immigrants born in Italy of their citizenship rights by relaunching an awareness-raising campaign, pending long called-for changes to Italy's citizenship laws. '18 anni in Comune', which is a play on words meaning 18 years in common, and 18 years in the council, aims to press local authorities on the need to inform children from migrant families who were born in Italy and who have turned 18 of their right to request Italian citizenship before their 19th birthday. After that date this group has to follow the same channels as foreigners not born on Italian soil. Current Italian law enshrines the principle of ius sanguinis, according to which citizenship is determined exclusively by blood relationship. However many in Italy, including ANCI, have long been campaigning for a change in the law to accommodate the principle of ius soli - citizenship as a result of place of birth - in recognition of the anomaly that growing numbers of foreign residents have been born, raised and educated in Italy and consider themselves to be Italian but do not have the same citizenship rights as their Italian counterparts. So far 358 municipalities have adhered to the campaign and around 640 second-generation immigrants have obtained Italian citizenship as a result. The campaign is run together with the children's aid agency Save the Children and the network of second-generation immigrants, G2. photo: Italy forward Mario Balotelli, who was born in Italy to Ghanaian parents and had to wait until his 18th birthday to claim Italian citizenship.

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