CREATION OF A PLATFORM FOR THE INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE
The recent socio-political upheavals occurred worldwide have emphasized a migratory problem already present in Italy but still under control. Immigration is one of the most problematic and controversial social phenomenon worldwide, considering the causes and the consequences. As for the target countries of migration phenomenon (mainly so-called developed or developing countries), the problems concern the regulation and control of migration flows at the entry and the stay limit of immigrants. Immigration is an issue that is often associated with the increase of the phenomenon of social disadvantage and difficulties of integration in the economic and social context, particularly for unemployed people or people who have not a regular income and administrative consistency. The EU member states legislations consider immigrates economic autonomy as a prerequisite for the permit of stay and then citizenship. The immigrant is deported unless he shows to have a regular job or to have someone who can give him an economic support. According to the latest figures, legal immigrants in Italy are 3.700.000. A number increased by 21.6% in a year - equal to 6.2% of the total population (in the EU is 5.6%) - and that puts Italy, as rate of growth, to the top of the European scale. This is esteemed from the 17th immigration report prepared by the Italian Caritas and Fondazione Migrantes. On the one hand, immigrants face many problems every time they refer to a PA and on the other hand, the Administration employees have to face many difficulties to meet their requests. One of these problems is undoubtedly the lack of knowledge of foreign languages. To provide for this lack, many Italian PAs employ a new professional figure: the "cultural mediator". The mediator not always belongs to the same ethnic group of persons to whom he is addressed, indeed, it would be unthinkable for a public administration to have 8/10 mediators from different ethnic backgrounds, even because, for some them, the request is very low. Hence, the idea of designing a system to share the Cultural Mediators among the various administrations, establishing an IT network allowing the costs reduction and increasing efficiency.
The “E-Mediators” project proposes to connect all the Cultural Mediators, on the national/regional territory, in a web based network system allowing to interact among them, using the telephone, the following subjects: a) non-EU citizens; b) Cultural Mediators of the same non-EU ethnic group of the person referring to the PA office; c) Public Officers of the PAs where a non-EU citizen has referred.
The will of Softplace is to acquire the knowledge and the infrastructure needed for creating the E-MEDIATORS system, it will need to create a platform that allows the successful interaction between the public administrations and all the users, both Italians and foreigners. The system will provide all the information useful for the immigrant concerning the various services offered by the Public Administration: Renewal of the permit of stay - Family Reunion - Issuing Driver's license – Working legislation– Health care - School etc., not through an anonymous information system but through the personal interaction with a "cultural mediator" of the same ethnic group of the user, avoiding the problem of alienation and informality, providing a service addressed to a real cultural integration. In addition to PA, the service may be directed also at different levels of users, such as people currently living abroad and who are interested to get information directly from their compatriots living in Italy. E-MEDIATORS platform will allow, for example, to ordinary users to book an operator in the fixed day and time, verify whether at that moment there is a free operator and then begin to interact. While special users may make emergency calls or calls in case of danger of life and concerning in particular to: Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, Civil Protection and Police. In this case, if there are no operators available immediately, sequentially the system will contact all the Cultural Mediators (according to the requested ethnicity) connected to the system at that time, asking to get in touch immediately with the requesting authority. Where there were cultural mediators linked to the system at that time, the system itself directly contacts the mediators by sms / phone call warning them to get in touch urgently with the requesting PA.