19 July 2014: CIR expresses its profound grief and sorrow over the newest tragedy that occurred today near Lampedusa, where some twenty migrants (the exact number is not confirmed) died in the hold of the boat that carried them, probably from the motor’s fumes. Another migrant died during the rescue operation and two more were injured. The boat, with about 600 people on board, was intercepted south of Lampedusa. Thousands of persons have been saved in the last 48 hours.
15 July 2014: CIR’s Director Christopher Hein commented on the “National Operations Plan to Confront the Extraordinary Influx of Non-European Citizens” signed last week by three Ministries, the Regions, ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) and UPI (Union of Italian Provinces), saying that “in the text of the agreement we find many aspects that we have fought for for years, such as centralizing the SPRAR system and having a single reception system, even if it is carried out in three “rings” from initial aid and classification, to first short-term reception, to second reception in small centres”.
14 July 2014: On July 8th, CIR’s Director Christopher Hein was a guest on “TGtg-News Debated” on TV2000, hosted by Donatello Vaccarelli. One year after Pope Francis’ visit to Lampedusa, the topics discussed covered international migration flows, operation “Mare Nostrum”, safe methods of entry for those who need protection, the informal meeting of European Interior Ministers in Milan, and of the plight of Syrian refugees.
13 July 2014: In a Joint Conference on a three-year plan for management of the refugee emergency, municipalities, provinces and regions have reached a final agreement with the government on restructuring the reception process. A final agreement was also reached on the provision of about 370 million in funds, of which 70 million would be directed at reception for unaccompanied minors.
11 July 2014: Interior Minister Angelo Alfano, in a hearing before the Senate Human Rights Commission, stated that asylum seekers should have a faster process, that the length of stays in the CIEs (Centers for Identification and Expulsion) should be reduced, and that more emphasis should be placed on voluntary repatriation programs.
10 July 2014: The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published its 2013 Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union, which revealed that over 435,000 people requested asylum in 2013, a 30% increase over 2012. Italy ranked 5th on the list of Member States receiving the most asylum seekers.
To see the report (in English), click here.