24 May 2015: EUROSTAT has published a report of data regarding asylum requests in the EU-28 States in 2014. The overall number of asylum requests during the year was 625,000, an increase of 191,000 over 2013. Germany received the most asylum requests in 2014, followed by Sweden, then Italy (which received more than double the number of asylum applications filed in 2013), and France. The leading countries of origin of asylum seekers in 2014 were Syria (20% of asylum seekers throughout the EU-28 were Syrian), followed by Afghanistan, Kosovo, Eritrea, and Serbia. Twenty-five percent of asylum seekers in 2014 were minors. About 30% of asylum applicants were female, and 70% were male.
23 May 2015: On 29 May 2015, at the 6th “Sounds, Ideas, Tastes” Intercultural Week taking place in Maglia (Lecce), Donatella Tanzariello of CIR’s Lecce office will be a presenter during the session dedicated to “Refugees, Artists, Life Experiences, and some of the videos on asylum rights that were part of CIR’s short film competition, “Fammi Vedere”, will be shown.
21 May 2015: “In Italy we have about 72,000 present, 13,000 unaccompanied minors. Last Year we had 170,000 arrivals, in 2015 we are currently at 40,000” said Angelo Malandrino, the Deputy Vice-Chair of the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration of the Interior Ministry as reported by ANSA on 18/5/2015. The majority are from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Syria, Nigeria and Gambia, and departed from the Libyan coast.
19 May 2015: “We will go and recover the boat, the one from the disastrous sinking a month ago, and we will bring it up. I want the world to see what happened. It’s unacceptable that some continue to say that what the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t feel,” said Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during a conversation with the “Porta a Porta” program, speaking about the disastrous capsizing off the coast of Libya last 18 April, where approximately 800 migrants perished.
See CIR’s Director Christopher Hein’s remarks following earlier indications that the boat would not be recovered.
19 May 2015: Yesterday the Council of Ministers issued preliminary approval of draft legislation implementing the EU directives on reception and procedures for recognizing international protection. The National Asylum Table expresses its great concern that certain aspects may modify the Italian asylum system without ensuring adequate measures regarding reception and guaranteeing the rights of asylum seekers.
18 May 2015: CIR’s office in Badolato, in the Calabria region, is sponsoring an “Integration and Solidarity” soccer tournament this 23rd May. Besides its recreational aspect, the tournament will provide an opportunity to provide information about asylum, integration, and to show solidarity for asylum seekers. CIR’s Calabria Coordinator Antonino Laganá notes “soccer represents a moment of coming together, a place that can transmit a message beyond the game itself to promote a sense of brotherhood and solidarity between people”. The match will start at 9:30 on 23 May 2015 at the “G.Larocca” soccer filed at Badolato Marina, Badolato, Catanzaro, Calabria.