Bosnia-to-Italy border guide

ATTENTION: As of 18 January 2021, an historical condem was issued to Italian Interior Ministry, saying that all pushbacks are illegal. As of march, 2021 it seems that the pushbacks have been stopped on Italian-Slovenian border. In summer 2021 we are not sure if the information is still valid, so pay attention and please let us know about any pushback from the Italian border, if you know about it.

ATTENTION: Italy is still struggling with Covid-19 Pandemic. It is very important to wear a mask when in contact with someone.

The pandemic has reached the third wave of contagion, and measures to contain the Covid-19 virus have been intensified. Movement among cities and regions and visits to private homes are now possible but in many cases the Green pass is required. Actually there is no curfew going on.

On the street, on the bus or in the shops, you must keep a distance of at least one meter from all other people and cover your  nose and mouth with a mask, or with a scarf. Fines for the failure to comply are very high.

Extreme caution is advised, especially for the most vulnerable, including refugees, internally displaced people and migrants in precarious situations. Trains and buses are monitored and travelers can be requested to show their pass or documents. Many countries in the Balkans are experiencing ahigh volume of cases of Covid-19. The utmost caution is advised for people travelling through these countries to Italy. 

Migrants entering Italy who are intercepted by the authorities will most likely be put into mandatory quarantine, after which it is possible that they  will be transferred by the authorities to reception centers that are often far away from the point of entry.

Your temperature may be taken at the entrance to public places and if it is greater than 37.5 C you will not be allowed inside.


Content is available in English, Arabic, Farsi, Tigrinya, French, Italian. Last update in January 2020.

Important information for people arriving in Italy from the Balkans

We are LINEA D’OMBRA , an association of local volunteers currently operating in Piazza Libertà in front of the Railway Station. A group of volunteers offering medication, food, clothing and advice can be found most every evening at around 5 pm (17.00). All assistance is provided for free, this is NOT a service with any price tag attached to it in any way. We can also put you in touch with the relevant local offices if you have specific needs, i.e. If you want to ask asylum.

ATTENTION: As of Monday 18 May 2020, in keeping with new agreements between Italian and Slovenian authorities, border area controls have been stepped up. Migrants entering Italy irregularly will face possible pushbacks even when intercepted several kilometres from the border. As of 18 January 2021, the pushback should have been stopped, but we are not sure if the official information reflects the real actual situation.

  • First contact:
    • Help Center – NOW CLOSED
      open from 18:00 to 20:00,
      tel. 3318929430
      Address: viale Miramare 1, Trieste (on the side of the train station)

      ATTENTION: As of 22 August 2021 the Help Centre located at the Trieste Railway Station is still closed.
      Any further developments will be published in this guide as soon as they are known.
  • Asking for asylum:
    • ICS (Italian Consortium of Solidarity)
      open: Mon.Thu. 9-13 and 14-18; Fry. 9-13 and 14-17;
      tel. 040/3476377
      Address: via di Scorcola, 2, Trieste
  • Health care:
  • Legal advice:
    • Avvocato di Strada:
      Address: Centro San Martino, via Udine 19
      The help desk in Trieste for free legal advice is still closed, but you can contact them by e-mail with questions.
  • Where to sleep at night:

    • Unfortunately at the moment the Help Centre is closed and there are few facilities for overnight stays unless you register as an Asylum Seeker but the volunteers of Linea d’Ombra will help you understand what your options are.
  • Free WI-FI:
  • Friendly associations contacts:
  • Access to public drinking water:
    You can find a clickable map of all the fountains with safe drinking water in Trieste at, maintained by the eco-sustainability project Free to Drink (Liberi di Bere). The fountain closest to the train station is just across the road in Piazza Martiri della Liberta’, 60.
  • Access to public toilets:
    Many of the city’s public toilets and baths are closed. The one in the Railway Station is open but there is an entrance fee of Euro 1. The public toilets in the Public Gardens (Via Giulia 2) are open, with no entry fee.
  • Public bathing establishments:
    Barcola: (bus 6, 36, or a 30-minute walk from the station).  Just outside of town along the Lungomare Benedetto Croce in Barcola you will find public showers and access to the sea for swimming. It is best to go very early in the morning to avoid possible interception. 

According to Italian and European regulations, you can obtain a permit of stay (permesso di soggiorno in Italian) through a request for international protection (protezione internazionale in Italian) also called political asylum (asilo politico).

The asylum request can be made by anyone, at any time. According to the Geneva Convention, you can make a request for international protection if you were a victim or if you fear that you will become a victim of violence, persecution, threats and in general, violations of your fundamental rights in your country of origin for reasons related to ethnicity, religion, nationality, membership of a social group (like gender discrimination, sexual orientation, Female Genital Mutilation) or because of your political opinions; or if your country is involved in an international armed conflict or internal armed conflict or if there are risks of being killed or tortured or exposed to inhuman or degrading treatment if you come back to your country of origin.

You can make the request for international protection with the so-called “manifestazione di volontà” that is saying or writing (in a language you know) that you wish to apply for international protection (political asylum) explaining briefly why you are in danger in your country. Once you have formalized your application for asylum, you will be granted a “6 month permit of stay for the request for international protection” and with this permit you have the right to work after 2 months of continuous stay in Italy.

If you are stopped by the police you have to ask immediately what your rights are, ask for an interpreter and declare that you want to request international protection (or political asylum, asilo politico in Italian). Your application can never be rejected by the police; if they prevent you from asking for asylum, write on a sheet of paper your general information, date and city where you are and, in capital letters, the words: “CHIEDO ASILO” (“I ask for asylum”) and your signature and then take a picture of this sheet and send it to local associations and/or to your contacts. After this declaration you can  contact a lawyer and a mediator.

Please bear in mind that poverty, economic and/or environmental problems and your willingness to find a job in Italy are not valid reasons to ask for international protection.

!! IMPORTANT!! Keep all your personal documents and remember that you have the right to understand all documents that you are given. If you do not understand the documents, you have the right not to sign them; you also have the right to have a copy of all documents for yourself.

Here is the latest information about the new laws concerning asylum and immigration in whole Europe:


By the law, you have the right to seek asylum in Croatia. Unfortunately, the police doesn’t respect that a lot of times. You can ask for asylum on the croatian border or in any police station in Croatia. It is not possible to ask for asylum in Croatia if you are in Serbia or in Bosnia. When you ask for asylum, you can stay in Croatia, waiting for a final answer on the status of refugee under international protection. During this period, you will be put in open camp, hotel Porin, in Zagreb. Organizations don’t decide on your asylum request, but the Minister of Interior do. They will take a picture of you, fingerprints, and will ask you questions to understand why you had to go away from your home country. Supportive organizations  give informations, legal advice, language courses and support for  the asylum seekers and refugees in Zagreb.

There are very few organisations providing assistance to migrants in Croatia and there is no organization assisting specifically undocumented migrants.

    • CMS – Centar za Mirovne Studije (Center for Peace Studies)
      Address: Kuća ljudskih prava, Selska cesta 112a, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
      Working hours: 9:00 – 17:00
      CMS is a civil society association; working on a variety of topics, among them, is also migrants and asylum seekers’ rights. They provide legal support, psycho-social assistance, Croatian language lessons.
    • HPC – Hrvatski Pravni Centar
      Address: Andrije Hebranga 21, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
      HPC provides free legal assistance to asylum seekers, writes reports, and conducts monitoring of asylum seekers and migrants’ rights in Croatia. Their capacity in terms of providing free legal aid is minimal, and not all migrants get their support. Vulnerable groups have a priority. If you are really in need of legal help, it is a good idea to keep calling them.
      Brune Bušića 42, 10000 Zagabria
      AYS is an organization supporting refugees and asylum seekers, both children and adults,  through educational, housing and work integration programmes.  They provide goods and clothes at their FreeShop.
      Are you a young refugee or asylum seeker between the ages of 18 and 30 living in Croatia? Borders:None Get Together will find you a mentor to help you navigate your new life and find new skills.
      At the moment the Get Together project is on hold because of Coronavirus but you can still talk to one of our mentors for supportive and friendly advice. Write us a message on Facebook ( or send an email to We will connect you to one of our local mentors with whom you may talk on Whatsapp, Viber, Skype or another platform during this period. 

Please, remember that Croatian authorities are putting the people and organizations who support refugees under strong surveillance.

Pushbacks are happening from the border areas, and from cities as well. Unfortunately, people and organizations have little power, and they cannot guarantee that you will not be pushed back once you contact them.

Here you can read more about it:

Be careful!


    • INFOKOLPA,  a self-organised migrants’ initiative in Ljubljana, is run by asylum seekers, refugees, migrant workers, local and international activists. It is located at this moment (2019/2020) in many different places in Ljubljana; please, just send us a short message to find out their regular meeting dates, places or planned events. The INFOKOLPA initiative is actively engaged in monitoring border violence (SLO/CRO) and is dedicated to the integration of our new comrades into the state welfare system.
    • PIC –  Legal Information Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment.  Professional legal support to individuals, vulnerable groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in exercising and protecting their rights and strengthening their position in society.

Solidarity organizations in other cities in northern Italy if you need help, food, a place to sleep or support if you intend to apply for asylum


First help:

  • RETE MILANO – You can write them directly on their facebook page.
    Rete Milano can provide food, clothes, medical assistance and hot showers.
  • CASC (Centro Aiuto Stazione Centrale – Help Centre Central Railway Station)
    Address: via Sammartini, 120
    tel:  02 884.47645
    Open from Monday to Friday 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-20:00; closed on Wednesday morning.  Saturdays, Sundays and holidays open from 12:00 to 20:00
  • Associazione Naga (health care, legal advice, help)
    Via Zamenhof, 7/A, 20136 Milano Tel: 02 58102599

COVID19 HEALTH EMERGENCY – where to eat in Milan

  •  Centro S. Antonio – (via Farini 10): distribution of hot meal bags
  • Fondazione Fratelli S. Francesco (via Saponaro): at lunch meal bags to those who are registered; in the evening internal canteen only for guests of the night reception of via Saponaro
  • Le suore della Mensa (via Ponzio 75): distribution of meal bags
  • Opera Messa della carità (via Canova 4): distribution of meal bags
  • Opera Pane S. Antonio (piazza Velasquez 1): distribution of hot meal bags
  • Suore Missionarie della carità (via Forze Armate 379): distribution of hot meal bags
  • Ristorante Ruben (via Gonin 52): distribution of dinner



Venezia – Marghera




  • Spazio Autogestito 77
  • Associazione di Promozione Sociale Todo Cambia presso Circolo Arci Ohibò, Via Benaco 3 Milano | MM3 Lodi T.I.B.B– Take your first left after the Madama Hostel onto the private road with the wall murals.
    opening hours: Monday from 18:00 to 20:00
    phone: +39-02-39468399
  • Opera San Francesco per i poveri (piazza Tricolore): distribution of hot meal bags

All useful and important information about getting help in the French/Italian border can be found on this website (available in French and English):

The main association helping migrants along the French/Italian border are:

Main helping associations by city:



  • Casa di Quartiere Ghettup – Sportello “Sans papier” – Comunità di San Benedetto al Porto Vico Croce Bianca, 7 (information);
  • Ufficio Migranti ARCI Via al Molo Giano (casa 25 aprile) Tuesday and Friday 9am- 1pm Wednesday 2-6 pm phone 3484719581 (information)




(Italian-French border)

  • Night shelter in Via degli Alpini from 8pm (they will start opening earlier in the afternoon) When you exit from Oulx Train Station take a right and then the first street on your left. You will find the shelter at the end of a little unpaved road
  • Rainbow4Africa: phone +39 347 2777029 (they send doctors and health professionals to the Oulx shelter). They also have a camper (you can recognise it by the sign “FREEDOM MOUNTAIN”) that goes along the Oulx-Claviere path by night. You can stop it if you need any help.
    head office: Corso Trieste 73/a, 10024 Moncalieri (TO)
    phone: 011-4277304
  • Valsusa Oltre Confine Solidarity Group in Valle di Susa (Bardonecchia, Oulx, Claviere)
  • Caritas Intermelia (informations, food, clothes, sanitary assistence)
    address: Via San Secondo 20 Ventimiglia (IM)
    tel. 0184 355058,
    facebook: Caritas Intermelia Organizzazione di Volontariato Ventimiglia
  • Terre des Hommes Italia (information, legal assistance for minors and families).
    You can find mobile units in streets, at caritas or at the campo roja.
    tel. 3337143639 /3337453952,
  • Oxfam Italia-Diaconia Valdese (information, legal assistance for adults)
    You can find mobile units in streets, at caritas or at the campo roja.
    tel.3511181423 / 3493508473,
  • Intersos. (information, legal assistance for minors and families)
    You can find mobile units in streets, at caritas or at the campo roja
  • Croce Rossa Italiana Campo Parco Roja, Località Bevera- Ventimiglia (sleeping, food, clothes, health care, legal assistance)

San Remo

  • Centro “L’Ancora” Corso Garibaldi 20 Saturday 10am-12pm (info)


  • Servizi Sociali – Piazza Dante Friday 10am-12pm (info)
    • ASGI (Associazione Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione) – information, legal support
      Service against discrimination:
      Phone: 3894988460 – 0114369158 – 0432507115
    • ARCI – information, support and advice
      Free national number: 800 905 570
      Address: Via dei Monti di Pietralata, 16 – 00157 Roma
    • Caritas – first reception, information, other reception services
      Phone: 06 6861554 – 06 6875228
      Address: via delle Zoccolette, 19 – 00183 Roma
    • National hotline against human trafficking: 800290290

In Italy and Europe your FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS are:

  • You cannot be returned to a country where you might be a victim of persecution and discrimination;
  • To stay in Italy (and therefore not to be expelled) if you are part of a “vulnerable group” (minors, pregnant women, people with disabilities, victims of severe psychological, physical or sexual violence, victims of human trafficking, or if you are a parent of a child younger than six months)
  • To have free access to basic medical care and a health check up; women, minors and people with physical and/or mental disabilities are entitled to special and free assistance; 
  • In reception centres to have food and water at least three times a day and to be housed in places that are adequately equipped and not overcrowded; 
  • To receive essential information – in a language that you understand 
  • To be informed of your rights ; how to apply for asylum, have updates about your application and details about the centre and the area where you are staying;
  • To have a written copy of all important documents you receive, to understand what is written in these documents and to refuse to sign documents that you can’t understand;
  • To contact, by phone or the internet, your relatives and friends in your home country or any European country and to meet a cultural and linguistic mediator;
  • If necessary, to ask for a free  lawyer who can support you;
  • To have your personal liberty and not to suffer any kind of physical and/or verbal violence;
  • To be able to always be together with your closest relatives (the right to “family unity”);
  • If you are a woman or a couple with children, to stay in specific places where you can receive the support and services you need;
  • If you are an unaccompanied minor, to stay in a specific place and to have a “guardian”;
  • If you are a victim of human trafficking, to report those who exploit you and to be included in a special programme for protection, general support and social inclusion.

!! Warning !! These rights are very theoretical. If Italian or French authorities do not respect these fundamental rights, get in contact with a lawyer or association