Article 6 of the Constitution (see Chapter 2.2.) has guaranteed the rights of the autochthonous, officially recognized cultural minorities (Germans and Ladins in the province of Bolzano, Slovenians and Croatians in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Greeks and Albanians in Southern Italy and Sicily, Catalans in Sardinia). National and regional legislation since the post-war period (most notably by Law 482/1999), although the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is yet to be ratified, also well safeguard the minority rights.
These minorities all enjoy citizen status and the related civic and cultural rights, with a particular focus on language matters in the educational sector and the mass media (see chapter 2.5.4).
While the safeguard of “historical” linguistic minorities is primarily entrusted with the Ministry of the Interior (Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration), autonomous Regions also play an important role, most notably Regione Trentino-Alto Adige, whose charter strongly upholds equal rights for citizens with different linguistic backgrounds.
The Roma and Sinti communities and individuals, still significantly segregated, although many are Italian citizens, and only a minority of them are “nomads”, represent the only exception to the safeguard of linguistic minorities. As the authors of the Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Italy (December 2018) remark, in spite of «the explicit reference to their condition of particular vulnerability in the National Strategy for the Integration of the RSC (Roma, Sinti and Caminanti), there is no specific measure implemented at national level», nor any awareness-raising initiatives aimed at combating the deeply rooted prejudice against them. Not surprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically affected these communities, also in terms of educational poverty.
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