A monitoring report by the NGOs ASGI, Borderline and ActionAid draws attention to the critical conditions asylum seekers are facing in the hotspot in Messina, Italy, while they are waiting for relocation.

The monitoring was carried out through five meetings with about 35 asylum seekers rescued by the Sea-Watch 3 and a visit to the hotspot center, which included talks with an official of the prefecture and with staff of the managing body of the hotspot center. The group rescued by the Sea-Watch 3 had been living in the centres since July 5 waiting for their redistribution to other EU member states that agreed to take them.

In an open letter to the authorities, the monitoring NGOs underline that hotspots are designed to accommodate people for the few days necessary to complete identification procedures. They are therefore absolutely inadequate for welcoming foreign citizens who are waiting for redistribution procedures for weeks and, often, months.

They describe the situation in the hotspot as “extremely critical” and call on the responsible authorities to take all necessary measures to adhere to national and European law and ensure the right to private and family life, access to medical care and psychological support, adequate legal support and provision of adequate interpreting services.

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Photo: (CC) David Evers, April 2008.

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.