Informations and abstract
Keywords: Covid-19 Pandemic, Lockdown, Services for Asylum Seekers, Digital Inequalities, Italy.
This article focuses on how social vulnerabilities and digital inequalities intersect during the Covid-19 pandemic in the context of asylum seekers. In the wake of the closure of important services for asylum seekers during this period, the article questions thus the particular vulnerability of asylum seekers in Italy, as well as the accessibility of fundamental social services for asylum seekers during this period. The analysis shows that during this particular time, asylum seekers depended more on services to assist and support them in this precarious situation than previously. However, their accessibility to single services has been restricted enormously. The lack of digital accessibility, usability and not least the affordability for asylum seekers, hindered the rollout of the digitalization of services, urgently needed during lockdown and promoted new forms of social and digital exclusion. The author of the paper opted for an explorative research approach, based on a qualitative research approach. From May to October 2020, 20 interviews were conducted with professionals, volunteers and activists, operating in the research field in different cities across Italy.