July 2023 | State Prosecutor removes same-sex parents from birth certificates
The state prosecutor in Padua ordered the removal of non-gestational mothers from the birth certificates of 33 children to lesbian couples. The order is retroactive, applying to parents who, since 2017, have had children abroad via surrogacy and have registered them in Padua. The ‘unofficial’ parent, now a legal stranger to the child, needs the authorisation of the legal parent to pick up the child from school, make medical decisions on its behalf and has no influence on the child’s future if the legal parent were to pass away. The decision leaves hundreds of families in legal limbo and according to Human Rights Watch affects the right to create a family, enshrined in multiple international legal frameworks ratified by Italy. Such retroactive orders are feared to spread to other regions of Italy, as part of a wider trend of restricting same-sex couples rights led by Giorgia Meloni’s government. A court is expected to rule on the decision in autumn.
May 2023 | New law curtails rights of migrants
The Italian government passed a new law to combat irregular migration, restricting the rights of migrants to seek special protection, access fair asylum procedures, and enjoy freedom of movement. Analysts flagged that the decree is not effective in addressing human trafficking as intended and that it harms migrants already living in Italy. Human Rights Watch has said the authorities introduced the legislative changes through an emergency decree measure and by restricting parliamentary oversight. Rights organizations in Italy also expressed their concern over the authorities’ use of extraordinary measures and the declaration of a state of emergency in April to address enduring and systemic challenges such as migration.
April 2023 | Government announces state of emergency over migrants’ arrival
The government declared a state of emergency to deal with the increase of migrant arrivals across the Mediterranean. The decision was taken following the suggestion of the Ministry for Civil Protection and Sea Policies and will last for six months. According to the government, the measure aims to allow the authorities to respond to the crisis and repatriate migrants faster by bypassing Parliament in enacting laws, while giving the executive branch special powers. The data coming from the Interior Ministry show that 31,000 migrants arrived since the start of 2023, as compared to around 8,000 in the same period two years ago. However, according to civil society, actual numbers are higher. In 2016, more than 181,436 migrants reached Italy, but a state of emergency was not declared.
March 2023 | Data Protection Authority bans ChatGPT over data privacy concerns
The Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante) has temporarily blocked the AI ChatGPT program over data privacy concerns. Garante contested the absence of clear data protection policies, a legal basis justifying personal data collection and storage, and an age-verification system preventing minors from accessing illicit material. The authority also added that on 20 March ChatGPT experienced a data breach of user conversations and payment information. OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT) risks a fine of up to EUR 20 million or 4 per cent of its worldwide annual revenue if it does not communicate a plan to adjust ChatGPT to comply with EU data privacy regulations. Italy has become the first Western country to block ChatGPT, prompting other regulators in Europe to examine ChatGPT’s compliance with data privacy regulations.