• Over 45,000 boat migrants reached Italy in 2013. The deaths of over 500 in two shipwrecks in early October highlighted the need for more effective and coordinated EU rescue operations. A subsequent Italian naval operation has saved hundreds of lives. Authorities summarily return to Greece unaccompanied migrant children and adult asylum seekers who stow away on ferries.  Serious concerns persist about inadequate reception facilities for asylum seekers and substandard conditions in immigration detention. Roma endure evictions from informal camps, segregation, and discrimination. The repeated racist slurs faced by the nation’s first black minister highlighted wider intolerance. Italy was the first EU country to ratify the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

  • European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. © Reuters 2012
    Amid economic crisis and much contested austerity measures in many member states, discrimination, racism, and homophobia remained serious problems in European Union member states.  Roma, migrants, and asylum seekers are particularly marginalized. The Council of the European Union acknowledged for the first time that more is needed to ensure human rights violations within EU borders are adequately addressed, with an ongoing policy debate focused on improving responses to rule of law crises. Meanwhile, abusive practices around the EU continued without adequate action by EU institutions and member states.


  • Summary Returns of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adult Asylum Seekers from Italy to Greece
  • Racist and Xenophobic Violence in Italy
  • Italy's Forced Return of Boat Migrants and Asylum Seekers, Libya's Mistreatment of Migrants and Asylum Seekers