The medico-legal assessment of asylum seeker victims in Italy

  • Francesca Magli LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy
  • Lorenzo Franceschetti LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy.
  • Lidia Maggioni LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy
  • Enrico Angelo Muccino LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy
  • Vera Gloria Merelli LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy
  • Elisa Cerutti LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy
  • Marzia Marzagalia Etnopsychiatry Centre, ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Milan, Italy
  • Andrea Armocida Municipality of Milan, Italy
  • Alessandra Kustermann Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Service For Sexual And Domestic Violence (SVSeD), Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
  • Cristina Cattaneo LABANOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133, Milan, Italy http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0086-029X
Keywords: humanitarian medicine, clinical forensic medicine, torture victims, torture survivors, asylum seekers, medico-legal assessment, Istanbul protocol

Abstract

Introduction: Changing patterns of migration hasrequired states andgovernments to respond to the specific medical and legal needs of asylum seekers. Based on medical assessments undertaken at the University Institute of Legal Medicine, the present study aims to describe the cases of asylum applicants who have suffered from physical violence, including torture, and the variables involved. Methods: Over a 10-year period, 225 survivors were examined by clinical forensic professionals from the University Institute of Legal Medicine. Results:85% of asylum applicants came from Africa, 87% were male, and the most common age group was 26-40 years old. 46% of applicants fled their country for political reasons. Blunt force injuries were reported in 45% of cases, the trunk was the most affected area of the body (40%), and applicants presented with an average of two different mechanisms of lesions and an average of four lesions each. Discussion/conclusion:Assessment of physical violence on asylum seekers requires the cooperation of professionals with different skillsets and training.

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Published
2019-05-22
How to Cite
Magli, F., Franceschetti, L., Maggioni, L., Muccino, E., Merelli, V., Cerutti, E., Marzagalia, M., Armocida, A., Kustermann, A., & Cattaneo, C. (2019). The medico-legal assessment of asylum seeker victims in Italy. Torture Journal, 29(1), 47-55. https://doi.org/10.7146/torture.v29i1.111067