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Commitment from EU Governments Could Ease Crisis on Deadly Migration Routes

As the pandemic consumes Europe’s attention, a struggle for survival is taking place in the central Mediterranean. Since the start of 2021, at least 185 people have died in the stretch of waters between north Africa and Italy. Italian and European…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

New Decree Rolls Back Some of the Worst Aspects of Immigration Policy

It pledged last year to do so, and now the Italian government has restored some humanity to its immigration and asylum system. This week, the council of ministers adopted a decree that reverses many of the worst policies imposed by the previous…
Italians and asylum seekers from the local specialized reception center work together to clear debris after floods in Belluno, Italy, November 2018.
News

Returns to Abusive Migrant Detention Centers Put Lives at Risk

Three young people are facing terrorism charges in Malta for refusing to be returned to almost certain detention and abuse in Libya. The “El Hiblu 3,” as they are known, appeared in a preliminary court hearing in Valetta on July 30; their trial is yet…
Migrants on a Libyan Coast Guard boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018.
News

The Government Should Condemn Intolerance

The recent arrival by sea in Sicily and Calabria of a dozen migrants who tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19 provoked several painful and unworthy reactions. In Amantea, a town in Calabria, residents protested the arrival of 24…
Men who were rescued off the Libyan coast in January, 2020 watch the city of Messina, Sicily from the deck of the Open Arms rescue vessel.
News

New Naval Mission Designed to Avoid Sea Rescues

It is a craven, indefensible choice. Yesterday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to launch a mission in the Mediterranean Sea to enforce the United Nations-mandated Libyan arms embargo on the condition that it not focus on saving…
Migrants are transfered by Italian sailors from the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' to the their ship 'Grecale' after being rescued during EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, March 29, 2016.
News

Libya Could Have Used Ships to Commit Abuses Against Migrants and Asylum Seekers

France’s decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this “gift” to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya. In February,…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

Chance to Implement Humane Approach

Italy’s new coalition government, fragile as it may be, presents a chance for the country to move away from migration policies that put lives at risk and back to those grounded in respect for human rights, including the right to life.…
Migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore" as it seaches for a safe port in the Mediterranean.
News

French Assistance Could Lead to Gross Rights Violations

People shackled, beaten, burned, crushed, hung upside down, threatened, and detained in horrendous conditions: the images broadcast recently by Channel 4 News apparently showing the torture and inhumane conditions suffered by some…
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News

Preventing Rescue at Sea, Punishing Survivors on Land

The current Italian government’s inhumane approach to refugees and migrants has reached a new low. On September 23, news emerged that Italy had pressured Panama to revoke the use of its flag on the Aquarius, the only…
A wooden boat carrying 29 people, mainly Syrians, just before their rescue and transfer to the Aquarius. October 10, 2017
News

Italy Should Immediately Allow Disembarkation

Update: Interior Minister Matteo Salvini authorized the disembarkation of 27 unaccompanied children on the night of August 22. All others remain on board. Engineered hysteria over boat migration across the Mediterranean – at…
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EU Should Support, Not Obstruct, Rescue at Sea

As an American living in Italy, I feel almost choked by despair. The country of my parents ripped young children from their parents and put them in cages. The country of my children is condemning people to drown in the Mediterranean.…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
News

Italy and Malta’s Move Puts Lives in Danger

After a nerve-wracking stand-off and intense negotiations, 629 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Aquarius, a rescue ship run by two nongovernmental groups, SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF, are finally heading towards Spain. Spain’…
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Europe Should Help End Cycle of Detention, Violence in Libya

A young Eritrean man died on Tuesday in Sicily of tuberculosis compounded by severe malnutrition. His name was Segen.* He was 22. There is so much about Segen we may never know. Did he prefer to read books or play football?…
Segen, a 22-year-old Eritrean, stares into the camera before disembarking in Pozzallo, Sicily, from the Pro Activa Open Arms rescue ship on March 13, 2018. He died several hours later.
News

Temporary Closure Follows Protests About Degrading Conditions

Good news! The Italian Interior Ministry announced yesterday the temporary closure of an abusive migrant processing center on Lampedusa, Italy’s tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea. The government decision came after damning…
Migrants disembark from the SOS Mediterranee ship Aquarius at the Italian island of Lampedusa, April 18, 2016.
News

Court ruling should encourage EU countries to relocate more asylum seekers

Hold the champagne. It’s more of a sparkling water moment. On September 6, the European Union's Court of Justice upheld the EU’s 2015 emergency plan requiring all member countries to relocate asylum seekers out of Italy and…
The entrance of the European Court of Justice is pictured in Luxembourg, January 26, 2017. Picture taken January 26, 2017.
News

Attacks in Italy on Efforts to Save Migrants’ Lives in the Mediterranean

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) searching for and rescuing migrants from rickety or even sinking boats in the Mediterranean are saving lives. Thousands of lives. Enough said? Apparently not. In Italy, NGOs have…
Migrants aboard a boat following their rescue from their drifting dinghies in the Mediterranean Seas by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms
News

Migrants are Not the Enemy

Dear Minister Kurz, The statement you made during your one-day visit to Tripoli on May 1, that “migrants who are saved in the Mediterranean should not be guaranteed a ticket to Central Europe,” feeds misinformed and xenophobic…
Migrants on a wooden boat await rescue by the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station in the central Mediterranean in international waters off the coast of Sabbath, Libya on April 15, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

Children Held Arbitrarily in Degrading Conditions

“Akram,” a 17-year-old Kurdish boy from Iraq, hid under a truck on the ferry from Greece to Italy for 18 hours without food or water. When he arrived in Italy, the police locked him in a small room on the ferry and sent him right back to Greece. …
Trucks of the sort unaccompanied migrant children stow away on hoping to reach Italy, ready to be loaded onto ships at the Patras port. Children stow away between the axles, inside fuel tanks, or inside refrigerated containers.
News

Killing of Nigerian refugee shows growing concern over intolerance

Emmanuel was a 36-year-old Nigerian who came to Italy last year with his wife after both their parents were killed when Boko Haram bombed their church. Emmanuel survived terrorism at home, violence in Libya, and the dangerous sea crossing to Italy. But…
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