PARIS – Paris Francophone Institute for Freedoms expressed its concerns over the declining opportunities for the influx of immigrants in Italy as populists came to power in their last parliamentary elections.
The expected arrival of a populist anti-establishment and right-wing League government in Italy is warning more controversy about how to deal with the influx of migrants after it suggested possible mass expulsions, the International Institute of Human Rights said in a statement.
“With the willingness of the collation of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the Leagues party to take over, migrants’ access to Italy after a risky trip to the sea from Libya seems poor,” he added.
In order to counter the flow of migrants from Libya, the outgoing center-left government signed controversial agreements with the Libyan government and local authorities, including armed groups.
Around 700,000 people have reached the Italian coast since 2013.
To stop this human tragedy, Italy, with the support of the European Union, trained the Libyan coast guards and support them with equipment to intercept boats before they reached international waters.
Since the beginning of the year, the Ministry of the Interior has recorded the arrival of 7,100 people who have left Libya and 3,500 others from Tunisia, Algeria or Greece.
According to the International Migration Agency, the Libyans stopped 6,500 people who sought to reach the southernmost tip of Europe.
The new populist government said it would push EU partners to strengthen the EU’s external borders and accept a more fair share of immigrants on the continent. It also wants to speed up asylum procedures, deport the rejected people and the citizens of the countries deemed to be “safe”.
The number of immigrants arriving in Italy regressed about 80% between July 2016 and July 2017 after Marco Minetti, a veteran intelligence coordinator who became interior minister in December 2016, reached an agreement with Tripoli to place migrants in centers Arrest on Libyan territory.
The Paris Francophone Institute of Freedoms criticized most of these centers and “inhumane” conditions, and also condemned the decline in the number of arrivals to Italy due to a major change in those procedures. While the Italian Coast Guard previously coordinated the rescue operations from Rome, that power has now become largely with Tripoli.
For migrants, that difference is important. Rome’s coordination means moving them to Italy. Tripoli’s mission is to leave them again at the mercy of a violent regime of extortion and poor living conditions.
The Human Rights Institute stressed that transit operations by displaced refugees to Italy today are more dangerous than ever before, with 383 dead or missing at the coast of Libya this year. This requires the new Italian government to commit to international human rights standards to deal with displaced refugees and ensure their safety.
The institute also called on the populist five-star movement and the right-wing league to back down from their intention to send back the majority of new arrivals, speed up asylum procedures and expel those who are rejected, as well as an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants.