News on migration and asylum from around the region - Nouvelles de la région sur les questions de migration et d'asile

Monday, May 05, 2014

[Italy]: Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter - The Italian Refugee Council: Access to protection in Italy

The Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) has published a report on the Italian legislation and practices regarding border controls, access to the territory and access to the asylum procedure.

In March 2011, Italy officially declared the end of its ‘push-backs’ policy that would be later condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in the case Hirsi Jamaa and others v. Italy. According to the report, Italy respected this commitment with few exceptions, such as in June 2012 when a joint Italian-Libyan patrol intercepted a boat of Eritrean migrants in high seas and escorted them to Libyan waters where they were handed over to Libyan authorities. The Italian Customs police denied their involvement.

According to CIR, the law should require that law enforcement authorities verify the treatment to which migrants would be exposed in the country where authorities intend to return them. Migrants should have a right to appeal a return order and the appeal should have a suspensive effect on return. Also, CIR recommends that binding rules on disembarkation of migrants and the concept of ‘safe place’ should be adopted.