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Afghan girls. Stock photo from Pexels

Italy horrified by Afghan migrant’s child abuse

A 30-year-old Afghan man has been sentenced by a Milan court to three years and 8 months in jail for "slapping" his tiny baby daughter when she was just over a year old.

Published: November 7, 2018, 10:09 am

    Milan

    He reportedly beat her because she is a female and not a male as he wanted, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

    He also subjected his wife – who he married when she was 15 in Pakistan – to violence, including by kicking, punching, belting and raping her. The woman and her daughter are now in the care of social services.

    Last year a horrific gang rape of a child in Trieste by an Afghan and Pakistani migrants made the headlines.

    The number of Afghan asylum seekers in Italy has been steadily rising over the last decade. Numbers grew particularly rapidly between 2013 and 2015, and Italy has consistently had one of the highest rates for recognising Afghans as asylum seekers in Europe.

    In 2015-2016, the rate was stable at 97 percent of all asylum requests, much higher than Germany (55 per cent), Sweden (46 per cent) and the UK (35 per cent).

    In the words of an Afghan interpreter who works with the commissions who adjudicate the cases of Afghan asylum seekers in Italy: “Italy is good in that nobody asks you who you really are or what did you do before.”

    The amount of knowledge acquired by the Italian Territorial Commissions (composed of UNHCR officials, members of the local administration and the Ministry of Interior deciding on refugees’ applications) has in the past been minimal. Cases are usually adjudicated after a single interview that lasts 40 minutes.

    Italy, incidentally, does not allow for the principle of “a safe place inside one’s country” as some northern European countries do when it comes to Afghans, while in Italy they are overwhelmingly single adult men (92 per cent of a sample contacted by IOM in February-April 2017 in Friuli Venezia Giulia, with 6.5 per cent of the sample being male minors).

    As of September 2017, Afghans’ accounted for the largest group of asylum applicants to the EU, with 170 045 applications pending approval.

    There are around 20 000 Afghans who may be residing permanently in Italy, but there are no official statistics.

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