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(ANSA) EU wants Italy to up capacity at migrant detention centres

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 18 May 2018

Migrants being transferred from Lampedusa to a Center for Identification and Expulsion on Italy's mainland Credit: ANSA/Ettore Ferrari
Migrants being transferred from Lampedusa to a Center for Identification and Expulsion on Italy's mainland Credit: ANSA/Ettore Ferrari

EU wants Italy to up capacity at migrant detention centres

  By ANSA Latest update : 2018/05/18

The EU is asking Italy to increase capacity at its migrants detention centers, considered a crucial element in increasing the number of repatriations, in an updated European Commission report on the enactment of migration policies. It is also calling for three new hotspots in the country, as previously planned, in order to register migrants as they arrive.

The EU said it will put in place a "new phase of emergency funding" shortly, together with the Italian authorities. Strengthen contributions to EU agencies Brussels is calling on EU member states to strengthen their contributions to EU agencies working to support Italy. Meanwhile, the EU is continuing to work on improving the "frightening conditions" of many migrants in Libya and to fight against the business of human trafficking. "EU-financed programmes to respond to migrants' immediate needs, to help them return home, or to resettle, are working," the report said.


 EU support to municipalities throughout Italy is also moving forward. As of May 4 of this year, 1,006 migrants and refugees had left detention centres after UNHCR interventions, a marked increase compared to the total of 1,428 in 2017. In addition, this year 486 site inspections to detention centres have been conducted.

 Voluntary repatriation programme continues

 The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with EU support, is continuing its programme of voluntary assisted repatriations. As of April 24 of this year, 6,185 people returned home safe and sound. As of May 6 of this year, 9,567 migrants had arrived through the Central Mediterranean route, about 77% less than those registered in the same period in 2017."However, there have been strong increases recently, with 2,072 people arriving in the last two weeks of April and the first week of May," the report said.

 It also said there has been a "significant change in the main nationalities on the route, compared to 2017". It said there are more Tunisians (20%), Eritreans (19%) and Nigerians (7%), while the main nationalities in 2017 were Nigerians, Guineans, and Ivorians. A significant number of boats, about 22%, headed to Italy from Tunisia, out of the total through April 26. The EU said the situation in Italy is "still fragile" and calls for remaining vigilant. 


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