Following Italy’s change of government, a Circular outlining a stricter policy on migration control by the Head of the Italian Police was distributed to police authorities across Italy. One of the measures was large-scale use of detention to control irregular migration and promote returns to third countries.
The Circular echoes the latest position of the Ministry of Interior, which has committed to an expansion of detention centres (CIE) with reference to a target of one CIE in every Italian region. At the end of 2015, 7 CIE were operational across the country according to the Roadmap on Relocation.
ASGI has sharply criticised the proposal for yet again encouraging the reopening of detention centres despite the widely acknowledged failure of such policies in the past. High costs, degrading conditions and limited impact on returns have been highlighted by various political bodies, including the Senate, and have led previous governments to dramatically reduce the number of CIE in the country. On the other hand, the “hotspot” approach has reinvigorated systematic resort to detention, leading to critical violations of human rights against refugees and migrants entering Italy.
Italy was the main country of first arrival in the EU last year, reporting a total 181,436 arrivals by sea.
For further information:
- ASGI, Nuovi CIE e rimpatrio stranieri: il comunicato dell’ASGI sulla circolare del Capo della Polizia, 4 January 2017
- Deutsche Welle, New Italian government seeks migration crackdown, 31 December 2016
- ECRE et al., The implementation of the hotspots in Italy and Greece, December 2016
- Italian Senate, Rapporto sui centri di identificazione ed espulsione in Italia, February 2016
- AIDA, Country Report Italy: Fourth Update, December 2015