Italy

4,092

Immigration detainees

2018

No Data

Detained children

5

Long-term centres

2018

53,500

New asylum applications

2018

189,243

Refugees

2018

Overview

An important European destination for asylum seekers and migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa, Italy has been an aggressive proponent of draconian migration control practices, spurring accusations that the country has been complicit in grave human rights violations. During the tenure of notorious former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Italy resorted to extreme measures to prevent maritime arrivals, including blocking ports to vessels carrying refugees, prosecuting people seeking to save lives at sea, and supporting the interdiction efforts of various Libyan armed forces. In 2018 the country’s immigration legislation was amended, doubling the maximum length of detention in pre-removal centres and creating a new legal ground for the detention of asylum seekers for identification purposes. Meanwhile, non-citizens continue to be de facto detained in Italy’s controversial “hotspots,” through which more than 40,000 people passed in 2017.

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

13 May 2020

Asylum Seekers Queuing in Italy in April 2017, (UNHCR,
Asylum Seekers Queuing in Italy in April 2017, (UNHCR, "Italy to Regularise 600,000 Undocumented Migrants," The African Courier, 6 May 2020, https://www.theafricancourier.de/migration/italy-to-regularise-600000-undocumented-migrants/)

The Italian Minister for Agricultural Policies, Teresa Bellanova, said (6 May) that she wants to regularise some 600,000 undocumented workers. She said: “If this doesn’t happen, the State becomes not only an accomplice but also a promoter of illegality in which these workers are forced.” The confederation of Italian farmers said the regularisation of undocumented workers working in the agricultural industry would bring an additional 1.2 billion euros into the national economy.

Italy maintains a network of seven Return Detention Centres (CPRs). The total capacity of these was 751 as of 2019. According to the European Migration Network contact in Italy, the CPRs are required to take particular precautions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, including:

- Informing migrants of the proper safeguards to be adopted to prevent the spread of Covid-19;
- Ensuring social distancing;
- Providing personal hygiene products;
- Cleaning and sanitising the premises on a regular basis

During the period January-March, there were 2,794 maritime arrivals.

Médecins Sans Frontières has reported that they are providing medical assistance in a clinic at Selam Palace, a building hosting more than 500 refugees in Rome. In addition, on 7 April 2020, the Italian government informed the German foreign ministry that due to the Covid-19 crisis, it will not allow the disembarkation of migrants rescued by German Search and Rescue NGOs, even if other EU Member States accept relocation.

Despite the impossibility of carrying out returns due to flight suspensions, Italy has not formally suspended forced repatriation measures. Also, no general policy on releasing immigration detainees from detention centres has been developed, not even regarding the Gradisca Detention Centre, where Covid-19 cases have been confirmed. ECRE reported that the number of detainees was reduced, but as of late April, there were still 229 people detained.

Following the adoption of a decree modifying regulations concerning house arrest on 16 March 2020, the prison population was reported to have been reduced by 6,000 on 18 March 2020. Nonetheless, on 30 March, two prison guards were reported to have died from Covid-19. On 23 April, 68 prisoners at the Lorusso e Cutugno prison in Turin tested positive for the disease and five were transferred to hospital.


08 April 2020

The Guardian,
The Guardian, "Italy declares own ports 'unsafe' to stop migrants arriving," 8 April 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/08/italy-declares-own-ports-unsafe-to-stop-migrants-disembarking

The Italian government declared its ports “unsafe” due to coronavirus, and will not authorise the landing of migrant rescue boats until after the end of the emergency.


01 April 2020

Police Officers Guarding Entrance to Immigration Detention Centre, (https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/emergenza-coronavirus-bloccare-gli-ingressi-nei-cpr-e-procedere-alla-progressiva-chiusura-dei-centri/)
Police Officers Guarding Entrance to Immigration Detention Centre, (https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/emergenza-coronavirus-bloccare-gli-ingressi-nei-cpr-e-procedere-alla-progressiva-chiusura-dei-centri/)

Campaign groups such as the “Campagna Nazionale contro la detenzione amministrativa di migranti” have highlighted the risks of the spread of Coronavirus within immigration detention centres in Italy, especially given the poor hygiene conditions and particular vulnerability of detainees. In addition, Italy’s national detainee rights guarantor, Mauro Palma, has urged the government to assess whether it is reasonable to “deprive people of their freedom for the sake of repatriation when they cannot for the moment be repatriated.” Migrants detained living in reception centres in Bologna wrote an open letter to local and regional authorities calling for improvements in living conditions to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. The letter states that: “more than 200 of us live and sleep in dorms with 5 to 10 persons each, with beds very close, one on top of the other.” In a letter signed on 26 March 2020, Italy’s Interior Ministry ordered all prefects to “constantly monitor the health condition” of migrants held in CPRs. The goal of this monitoring is to “quickly detect possible symptoms of Covid-19.” According to the letter, all new detainees must undergo medical screening and be placed in separate accommodation for at least 14 days. Prefects were also ordered to ensure that all detainees are provided with appropriate materials for care and hygiene, are regularly informed about measures that should be taken to prevent the virus’ spread, and are provided with access to mobile phones given that visits are no longer permitted. In three separate cases, judges in Italy ordered the release of rejected asylum seekers held in CPRs. These rulings were made by two courts in Rome, and one court in Trieste, which cited the danger of detention to detainees’ health, and lack of legal basis for detention now that deportations are suspended. On 29 March, shortly before these rulings, detainees held in Gradisca CPR protested their living conditions amid the Covid-19 emergency, with fires set inside the facility. At least a dozen inmates have died and more than 40 staff have been injured following riots in prisons after the government announced restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak. On 27 March 2020, it was reported that 15 prisoners tested positive for Covid-19 and 260 were put in isolation. Three days later, trade unions announced the death of two prison guards from Covid-19.


Last updated: October 2019

Italy Immigration Detention Profile

 

 

KEY ISSUES

  • Italy is involved in controversial migrant interdiction and detention practices both at home and abroad, including detaining people in “hotspots” at ports of entry and supporting migration control efforts of Libyan militias.
  • Approximately 45,000 may have faced some form of migration-related detention in Italy in 2017, placing it among the largest detention systems in the world.
  • The country uses misleading language to denote migration-related detention, calling it “administrative holding,” which can prevent detainees from accessing protections and rights.
  • Italian legislation does not provide particular guarantees for the protection of vulnerable persons, including victims of violence and torture.
  • Unaccompanied minors are reportedly detained in hotspots for identification purposes even though the practice lacks legal basis.
  • Italian law provides that non-citizens can only be held in hotspots for up to 48 hours, however people are held for much longer periods when they refuse to be identified or fingerprinted.
  • Reports suggest that aggressive and coercive measures are used in hotspots to ensure that fingerprints can be taken.
  • Abetted by readmission agreements it has established with neighbouring non-EU countries, Italy appears to be violating critical human rights norms by deporting people before they have been given access to asylum procedures.
  • Many detention centres in Italy have been the subject of severe criticism for imposing prison-like regimes and failing to provide adequate environments for detainees.

 

1.     INTRODUCTION

Italy was until recently the main European destination for asylum seekers and migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean. In 2016, approximately 180,000 people reached Italian shores.[1] Of these, 25,000 were unaccompanied children, doubling the number from the previous year.[2] By 2018, however, the number of arrivals had already begun to fall. Between 1 January and 30 April 2019, only 779 refugees and migrants arrived by sea.[3]

Despite the declining migration pressures, Italy’s populist government, led by the firebrand right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, continued to pursue many draconian policies, including closing ports to NGO boats carrying migrants and stranding vessels at sea. In one case, in August 2018, the Ubaldo Diciotti—a coastguard ship with 177 people, including unaccompanied minors, on board—was left stranded at sea for six days, before eventually being permitted to dock. However, the migrants and refugees were prevented from disembarking for almost a week.[4] After Italian prosecutors opened an investigation into alleged “illegal confinement, illegal arrest and abuse of power” the migrants were permitted to disembark, with Albania, Ireland, and Italy’s Catholic Church agreeing to accommodate them.[5]

In May 2019, Salvini tabled the Decreto Sicurezza Bis, which included fines for NGO vessels of up to 5,500 EUR per rescued person as well as provisions granting the Interior Minister the power to restrict and prohibit transit within Italian territorial waters.[6] Shortly after the publication of the first draft, UN human rights experts, including the Special Rapporteur for the human rights of migrants and the Special Rapporteur on torture, urged the country not to adopt the decree because it “would seriously undermine the human rights of migrants, including asylum seekers, as well as victims of torture, of trafficking in persons and of other serious human rights abuses.”[7] The human rights experts also demanded the withdrawal of directives preventing humanitarian vessels from accessing Italian ports. Despite condemnation, the proposed decree was signed into law.[8]

Although the coalition government that included Salvini collapsed in mid-2019, in great measure because of growing concern over its extreme anti-migration policies, many of the country’s controversial practices pre-date that government. At the heart of the county’s response to migration have been its immigration detention operations, which have grown and diversified in recent years. In 2017, nearly 45,000 people may have faced some form of migration-related detention, which placed Italy among the world’s largest detainers. This number included approximately 4,000 people detained in one of Italy’s long-term detention centres, euphemistically called Centro di Permanenza per il Rimpatrio, and some 40,000 who passed through “hotspots.”[9] 

In 2017, Italy adopted Law 46/2017 (the Minniti-Orlando Decree, D.L 12/2017), which established several new immigration and asylum control measures and allocated 13 million EUR for the establishment of new detention centres. Among the new measures, the law amended the Consolidated Immigration Act to provide expanded criteria for assessing the risk of absconding and eliminated the possibility of appealing a first instance court decision rejecting an asylum application, making appeal possible only through the Supreme Court. Asylum procedures were also simplified by removing the courts’ obligation to hear an asylum seeker. In 2018, the country’s immigration legislation was further amended with Decree Law 113/2018, known as Decreto Sicurezza, adopted as Law 132/2018. The amendment increased the maximum length of detention in CPRs from 90 to 180 days; created a legal ground for detaining asylum seekers for identification purposes; and introduced new grounds for the revocation or denial of international protection.[10]

Immigration detention in Italy has long operated in a grey area, leading to intense national and international scrutiny.[11] For instance, in its December 2016 ruling in Khlaifia vs. Italy, the European Court of Human Rights found that Italy had violated Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to liberty and security, in relation to its detention of four Tunisian migrants at a “first aid and reception centre” in Lampedusa (the centre was later converted into a “hotspot”).[12]

The Khlaifia case helped highlight the impact of Italy’s misleading use of terms like “reception” to denote detention, which has been a persistent aspect of Italian law and policy. A case in point was the review of Italy before the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) in November 2017. During the session, an Italian official responded to a question concerning immigration detention by arguing that such detention did not exist in the country. He said, “Now, detention or people being held in centres for repatriation, this is once again not a form of detention, this is administrative holding of a person, it is temporary and has to do with preparing a case for repatriation. This only affects dangerous individuals, all of these stages of the process are provided for in our law.”[13] An expert in Italy commented: “In Italian legislation, administrative detention is defined as ‘administrative holding’ (trattenimento amministrativo). The word detention is not used. However, people are held in a place and they cannot go out. Ironically, the fact that it is not defined as detention makes the condition and the accessibility to rights worse than in prison.” Regarding the Italian official’s assertion that this “administrative holding” only applies to “dangerous” people, the expert said: “There is no assessment of the dangerousness of the people held in the administrative detention centers. They are there due to their immigration status and not because they are necessarily dangerous individuals.”[14]

Since early 2016, concerns over arbitrary detention in Italy have intensified following Italy’s implementation of the controversial “hotspot” approach to address migration and refugee pressures, an EU-promoted registration and identification procedure that involves holding people at key points of arrival. As several NGOs concluded in a 2019 report, Crossing a Red Line, persons are de facto detained in Italy’s hotspots—or, in other words, “deprived of their liberty in the absence of a detention order.”[15]   

Italy has also been instrumental in supporting overseas interdiction and migration control efforts, including European Union (EU) programmes equipping and training the Libyan coastguard to intercept trafficking boats.[16] The country has assisted activities inside Libya, supporting International Organisation for Migration (IOM) “voluntarily return” programmes and relocating some vulnerable individuals to Italy. In 2017, the Italian government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) allowing the Libyan coastguard to intercept boats bound for Italy and return all those on-board to disembarkation zones in Libya, where they would subsequently be placed in detention. At the same time, Italy was paying rival militias to stop migrant boats in parts of the country not fully under government control, which have reportedly helped fuel armed conflict in these areas.[17] Italy’s Interior Minister argued that all migrants rescued by European vessels should be sent back to Libya.[18]

 

2.     LAWS, POLICIES, PRACTICES

Italian legislation explicitly affirms the fundamental rights of undocumented migrants. As stipulated in Article 2(1) of the Immigration Act, a non-citizen “regardless of how he is present at the territory of the State,” shall have his fundamental rights recognised. Also, Article 10 of the Italian Constitution provides that the legal status of foreigners is regulated by law in conformity with international norms and treaties and affirms the right to asylum. Article 13 of the Constitution provides that personal liberty is inviolable and that detention shall only be allowed for judicial reasons and in a lawful manner.

Despite this, numerous reports by civil society groups, international organisations, and other observers have repeatedly denounced violations of the fundamental rights of non-citizens in detention. In its 2012 profile on Italy, the GDP cited numerous reports demonstrating that authorities routinely detained non-citizens outside the framework of the law.[19] Since then, and particularly since the establishment of the “hotspot approach,” many of the hardships that non-citizens face in custody appear to have been exacerbated.

2.1 Key norms. Detention of non-citizens was established in the 1998 Turco-Napolitano Law (Law n. 40/1998).[20] Based on the Turco Napolitano Law, the Consolidated Immigration Act (Testo unico delle disposizioni concernenti la disciplina dell’immigrazione e norme sulla condizione dello straniero, the "Immigration Act") was issued in July 1998 (Legislative Decree n. 286) and today this remains the principal legislation relevant to immigration detention, asylum procedures, and reception conditions. The Immigration Act has been amended several times, most recently in December 2018 by Decree Law 113/2018 (also known as Decreto Sicurezza) implemented by Law 132/2018. Substantive changes in immigration detention policy were also introduced by the 2002 Bossi-Fini Law (Law n. 189/2002).[21]

Adopted in 2015, the Reception Decree (Decreto Legislativo 142/2015), which incorporated the EU Reception Conditions Directive and Asylum Procedures Directive into Italian legislation, contains provisions regulating the detention of asylum seekers. This decree, like the Immigration Act, has been amended several times, most recently by Decree Law 113/2018 at the end of 2018.

2.2 Grounds for detention. Pre-removal detention is provided for in the Immigration Act. Pursuant to Article 14, a police commissioner (questore) may detain a non-citizen in a temporary holding facility when it is not possible to immediately proceed with an administrative expulsion (in accordance with Article 13) or a border rejection (in accordance with Article 10) (Immigration Act, Article 14(1)). The police must communicate this decision to a magistrate, who is to undertake a “validation hearing” and issue a detention order within 48 hours (Immigration Act, Articles 14(3) and 14(4)). An administrative expulsion order pursuant to Article 13 can be issued, inter alia, for illegal entry (evading border controls) and illegal stay.

2.3 Criminalisation. The criminalisation of immigration violations has long been a point of contention with respect to Italy’s response to irregular migration. In 2008, as part of a Berlusconi government “security package,” the penal code was amended to introduce migration as an aggravating circumstance in criminal law (Law 125/2008, Article 1(g)). This was declared unconstitutional by the constitutional court in 2010 (judgment n. 249, 8 July 2010) and subsequently abolished. In addition, in its 2011 ruling in the case of El Dridi, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that that Italian legislation criminalising irregular stay did not comply with the EU Return Directive.[22] 

Nevertheless, Italy still criminalises irregular entry and stay. Under Article 10bis of the Immigration Act, irregular entry or stay are punishable with a fine of between 5,000 and 10,000 EUR. According to Article 6(3) of the Immigration Act, those who do not present their passport or residence permit to authorities when requested can be punished with up to one year of imprisonment and a 2,000 EUR fine. 

In 2014, with legislation concerning non-carceral penal detention (la legge in materia di pene detentive non carcerarie e di sospensione del procedimento con messa alla prova nei confronti degli irreperibili) (Law 67/2014), Parliament mandated that the government de-penalise certain crimes, including irregular entry and stay. However, while the government was supposed to complete the de-penalisation process within 18 months, no action had been taken concerning irregular entry and stay as of late 2019. In 2017, a source in Italy told the GDP, “when the deadline expires, the crimes that were not de-penalised remain crimes and a new delegation law has to be enacted by the Parliament. The point is that there was a lack of political will from the Italian government. They de-penalised other crimes but not the one concerning irregular entry or stay.”[23]

Also, the 2014 law does not cover re-entry after expulsion, which remains subject to prosecution, as the 2015 ruling of the CJEU in Celaj confirmed. The case concerned the arrest and prosecution of an Albanian national who entered Italy in violation of a re-entry ban. However, unlike in El Dridi, which dealt with cases of first return rather than subsequent re-entry, the court ruled in Celaj that such sentencing and imprisonment would not impede the provisions of the Returns Directive.[24]

2.4 Asylum seekers. According to Article 6(2) of the Reception Decree 142/2015, asylum seekers may be detained if: a) they fall under the exclusion clause under Article 1F of the Geneva Refugee Convention; b) are issued with an expulsion order on account of their constituting a danger to public order or state security, are suspected of being affiliated with a mafia-related organisation, have conducted or financed terrorist activities, have cooperated in selling or smuggling weapons, or have habitually conducted any form of criminal activity, including with the intention of committing acts of terrorism; c) may represent a threat to public order or security; or d) pose a risk of absconding.[25]

As clarified in Article 6(2)(d) of the Reception Decree, the assessment of the risk of absconding is to be carried out on a case-by-case basis and take such factors into account as previous systematic false statements or failure to comply with alternatives to detention. Article 17(3) of Law Decree 13/2017 introduced a new factor for finding a risk of absconding, namely the repeated refusal to undergo fingerprinting (Article 10ter (3), Immigration Act).

Under Article 6(3) of the Reception Decree, if a person in pre-removal detention applies for asylum, they should remain in detention if there are reasonable grounds to consider that the asylum application was submitted solely to delay or obstruct return.

With the adoption of Decree Law 113/2018, the Reception Decree now includes one new ground for detention, specifically: detention in order to determine or verify the identity or nationality of an asylum seeker. In such cases, asylum seekers can be detained in hotspots and reception centres for up to 30 days. In cases when determining or verifying their identity and nationality is impossible, the asylum seeker can be detained in a pre-removal centre (CPR) for up to 180 days (Article 6(3bis), Reception Decree). As highlighted by the Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), however, the confinement of asylum seekers in hotspots and reception centres took place before the introduction of this legal ground.[26] According to ASGI, this ground also violates the Reception Conditions Directive, in particular Article 8(1), which prohibits detention for the sole purpose of examining an asylum request.[27]

2.5 Children. Pursuant to Article 19(4) of the Reception Decree, unaccompanied minors cannot be detained. However unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors may still be housed in dedicated “first aid” facilities (centri di prima accoglienza a loro destinati) for up to 30 days (Reception Decree, Article 19(1)). Before amendments were introduced by Law 47/2017, unaccompanied minors could be held in secure accommodation for up to 60 days. Accompanied minors can be detained with their families if they make such a request and a judge authorises it.[28]

According to Italian law, unaccompanied minors can, under no circumstances, be expelled from the country (Article 19 (1bis), Immigration Act, introduced by Article 3, Law 47/2017).The law also prohibits—except on public order or security grounds—the expulsion of children (as well as pregnant women or women who gave birth in the previous six months) (Article 19(2), Immigration Act).

Despite the fact that there is no legal basis for detaining unaccompanied minors in hotspots for identification purposes, reports indicate that de facto detention of children at these facilities is common despite the devastating impact it has on them. In 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that unaccompanied minors as young as 12 were de facto detained, sometimes for over a month, alongside unrelated adults at the Pozzallo hotspot. When HRW visited the centre in June that year, they found that of the 365 people held at the centre, 185 were unaccompanied children. The children were vulnerable to violence and sexual harassment. A 17-year-old Eritrean girl told the rights watchdog that men “come when we sleep, they tell us they need to have sex. They follow us when we go to take a shower. All night they wait for us. … They [the police, the staff] know about this, everybody knows the problem, but they do nothing.”[29] A visit by ASGI to the Taranto Hotspot in 2017 also revealed the presence of unaccompanied minors alongside adults. On top of this, the conditions the minors were kept in were deemed wholly unsuitable: they were confined in a tent alongside adults, surrounded by metal fences and guarded by army soldiers; they lacked detention orders or information on the possibility of seeking asylum; and there were no means available for them to communicate with persons outside the facility.[30]

Another critical issue concerning children is the fact that Italy employs unreliable age-assessment tools. The main tool used to determine whether one is a minor involves wrist-bone x-rays,[31] and this procedure can have a high margin of error as it indicates the level of biological development rather than chronological age since birth.[32] NGOs have reported numerous cases in which age assessments were inaccurate.[33] For example, in 2018 and 2019, LasciateCIEntrare and the National Guarantor for the rights of persons detained and deprived of their liberty reported the detention of unaccompanied minors in a CPR following incorrect age assessments.[34]

2.6 Other vulnerable groups. There are no legal guarantees in Italian legislation for the protection of vulnerable persons such as victims of violence and torture. Such individuals are therefore at risk of being placed in detention.[35]

However, specific guarantees against immigration detention do exist for vulnerable asylum seekers. The Reception Decree specifies that asylum seekers whose health or vulnerability are incompatible with detention cannot be held in detention facilities. The decree also states that vulnerability assessments must be carried out regularly (Article 7(5), Reception Decree, as amended by Decree Law 13/2017).

2.7 Length of detention. A non-citizen can be held in pre-removal detention for 180 days (Immigration Act, Article 14(5), as amended by Decree Law 113/2018). Meanwhile, an asylum seeker can be detained for up to 12 months (Decree 142/2015, Article 6.8). When an applicant for international protection is detained, the police commissioner may prolong their detention for periods up to 60 days, until the maximum limit is reached. The fact that those seeking asylum and those who are not have different maximum detention durations has been highlighted by rights groups, who argue that this differential treatment may constitute a violation of the principle of equality set forth in the Italian Constitution.[36]

Detention for identification purposes should only last for the time strictly necessary to reach its purpose and can last for up to a maximum of 30 days; however, if identification is impossible, the asylum seeker can be moved to a CPR for up to 180 days (Article 6(3bis), Reception Decree).

The maximum length of pre-removal detention in Italy has changed several times in recent years. The Turco-Napolitano Law initially established a maximum detention period of 30 days (Article 12). The Bossi-Fini Law subsequently amended Article 14(5) of the Consolidated Immigration Act, providing that if the procedures to verify the identity of a non-citizen face serious difficulties then a judge can extend the detention period for an additional 30 days. In May 2008, the then-newly elected Berlusconi government adopted a package of provisions, known as the “security package” (pacchetto sicurezza), with the objective of combatting irregular migration. The “security package” included Law 94/2009,[37] which amended the Consolidated Immigration Act by increasing the maximum period of detention at a CPR to 18 months. In 2013, this was shortened to a period of 90 days—but this was again changed in December 2018, when it was prolonged to 180 days following the amendments introduced by Decree Law 113/2018.

According to the Senate Extraordinary Commission for the Promotion of Human Rights, the average detention period in Italy’s long-term detention centres in 2015 was 25.5 days.[38] In 2018, the average detention period in CPRs was 32.8 days, with a lowest average of 6.88 days in the Caltanissetta facility and a highest average of 56.47 days in Brindisi.[39]

If the maximum detention period has expired before an order of expulsion can be executed and a non-citizen can no longer be detained at a CPR, the police can issue a provision ordering the non-citizen to leave the country within seven days (Article 14(5bis), Immigration Act).

2.8 Procedural standards. Upon arrest of a non-citizen who appears to have violated immigration law, the police are to notify the appropriate judicial authority (giudice di pace, “justice of the peace”) within 48 hours (Article 14(3), Immigration Act). Following a “validation hearing” in the presence of a lawyer, the judge is to issue a detention order within 48 hours; during validation hearings, non-citizens must be represented by a lawyer and have the right to free legal assistance (Article 14(4), Immigration Act). The validation of the detention order results in an initial 30-day detention period, which can be extended by an additional 30 days by the judge if the police commissioner requests it. Other extensions are possible (up to a maximum of 180 days) when necessary for carrying out a return or when new information suggests that the identification of the non-citizen can be achieved (Article 14(5)). Non-citizens then have the right to appeal a detention and/or extension decision to the Court of Cassation; however, such an appeal has no suspensive effect (Article 14(6)).

To the extent that it is possible, Article 14 of the Immigration Act also applies to asylum seekers (Reception Decree, Article 6(5)). The Reception Decree further specifies that the detention order must be motivated, issued in writing, and communicated to the asylum seeker in a language that they can understand. When possible, validation hearings take place using videoconferencing. The asylum seeker thus remains at the centre in which they are held, and their lawyer can remain at the centre with them (Reception Decree, Article 6(5)). As ASGI notes, this implies that the lawyer is obliged to decide whether to stay with the asylum seeker at the centre or to be present in the court.[40]

Both validation and extension hearings have been the subject of criticism, in part because judges often have little knowledge of immigration law. The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants has stated that the judges “deciding whether expulsion and detention orders should be extended are justices of the peace without any particular expertise in immigration issues. The ability of these lay judges to review the detention orders on the merits seems to be limited; rather, the confirmation of the detention orders is perceived to be, in many cases, based on mere formalities, thus resulting in a lack of real judicial control over the order.”[41]

The quality of public defenders has also been criticised. Government lawyers are often appointed mere hours before the hearing and only briefly meet with their clients, often without an interpreter. According to a study produced by the Monitoring Center on Juridical Control of Migrants’ Removal, even when adequate defence is provided, decisions can rely on superficial judicial reasoning. The study concluded that detention appears to be a mere formality in which summary decisions are frequently arrived at in less than five minutes of deliberation.[42] (According to an Asylum Information Database (AIDA) report, however, there are currently bar councils that have compiled a list of court-appointed defenders with expertise on immigration and asylum matters.)[43]

There are also challenges in the process of appealing decisions to the Court of Cassation. The appeals process is a lengthy and complex process and many lawyers do not fulfil the requirements that are required of them in order to act in front of the court (one needs to have practiced law for at least 12 years).[44]

2.9 Non-custodial measures (“alternatives to detention”). Alternatives to detention were introduced in the 2011 amendment to the Immigration Act, transposing the EU Returns Directive. In line with Article 14(1bis), officials may order one of three non-custodial measures in cases where detention can be ordered: a) relinquishing passport or an equivalent document; b) obligation to reside at a previously identified location; and c) reporting obligations. However, these measures may be applied only with respect to migrants who have their passport or another equivalent document[45] –and the fact is that many do not possess such paperwork. Pursuant to Article 6(5) of the Reception Decree, asylum seekers may be granted the same alternative measures set forth in Article 14(1bis) for non-citizens in pre-removal detention. 

Based on an examination of 2015 data from detention centre hosting cities Bari and Torino, the Monitoring Centre on Juridical Control of Migrants’ Removal found that no decision to authorise alternatives to detention was recorded. Assessing case law from judges of the peace in the cities of Bologna and Prato (which currently do not have detention centres) for the same time period, the group found that alternatives to detention where adopted more frequently—in 92 percent and 16 percent of cases respectively. The most frequent alternatives to detention adopted were the submission of a passport and obligation to report to police headquarters.[46] 

2.10 Detaining authorities and institutions. According to Article 14 of the Immigration Act and Article 6 of the Reception Decree, detention can be ordered by the police commissioner (questore). Police headquarters, which are managed by the police commissioner, fall under the authority of the Interior Ministry—which also has overall responsibility for immigration matters.[47]  More specifically, the Central Directorate of Civil Services for Immigration and Asylum (Direzione centrale dei Servizi civili per l’Immigrazione e l’Asilo) is responsible for all activities pertaining to the reception of irregular migrants and asylum seekers, including detention.[48]

2.11 Regulation of detention conditions and regimes. In 2014, the Interior Ministry adopted regulations concerning the management of CPRs. This was in order to standardise detention operations, as before then, operations had largely been determined by prefect police chiefs.[49] Amongst other issues, the regulations established basic rights for detainees (including the right to information and the right to medical assistance), the services to be provided, security procedures, and access to the centre.[50] The document also included the charter of non-citizen rights and obligations in detention centres (Carta dei diritti e dei doveri dello straniero nei centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione), which is to be given to every detainee upon arrival.

Previous regulations concerning operations at CPRs established that the security and order of detention centres is the responsibility of the police commissioner and security forces. Their specific duties include monitoring entrances and the perimeters of centres, verifying those entering the centre, and ensuring that only authorised vehicles enter facilities.[51] While security forces should only be permitted entry into facilities during emergency situations, observers say their presence is much more noticeable. According to one report, police forces are often present in accommodation and communal areas, as well as during meetings with visitors and medical appointments.[52] However, it is unclear whether or to what extent these earlier regulations have been superseded by the more recent ones. A source in Italy told the GDP that this does not appear to be a standard procedure at all CPRs.[53]

Basic standards concerning the detention of asylum seekers are provided in the Reception Decree. Article 7 stipulates, inter alia, that women are to be confined separately from men; families are to be kept together to the extent that this is possible; and detainees are to be granted the right to spend time outdoors. In addition, UNHCR, families, legal advisors, NGOs, and religious leaders shall be granted access to the centres. Detainees must be informed about the house rules governing the facility as well as about their rights and obligations while in detention in a language they can understand. Article 6 also specifies that when asylum seekers are detained in a CPR, they should be separated from other immigration detainees (Reception Decree, Article 6(2)).[54]

2.12 Domestic monitoring. Immigration detention operations are monitored by both official and non-governmental entities.

The National Guarantor for the Rights of Persons Detained and Deprived of their Liberty (Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale) has been designated as Italy’s National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and is thus responsible for monitoring immigration detention operations. To this purpose, it carries out visits and publishes reports.[55]

In addition, several NGOs—including the Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’ Immigrazione (ASGI),[56] LasciateClEntare, and the Italian Refugee Council (CIR)—are also involved in monitoring detention centre operations. In 2019, CIR was one of several partners (including the GDP) that collaborated on the “Red Line Project,” a project that documented how EU states’ border “reception” procedures are increasingly used for the detention of asylum seekers. CIR drew attention to de facto detention in Italy’s hotspots, in particular the Taranto, Lampedusa, Messina, and Trapani hotspots.[57]

2.13 International monitoring. Immigration detention practices in Italy are monitored by several international bodies. Between 2017 and 2019, six UN treaty bodies made recommendations or raised concerns regarding immigration detention in their concluding observations to Italy. In 2017, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee against Torture (CAT) made several recommendations. The CERD recommended introducing a presumption against immigration detention, and both the CERD and the HRC asked Italy to ensure that detention was a measure of last resort, strictly necessary, proportional, non-arbitrary, lawful, and imposed for the shortest time possible.[58] The CEDAW recommended providing adequate services in detention, especially to women in a vulnerable situation.[59] The CAT expressed concern regarding the difficulties faced by NGOs and the NPM in accessing detention facilities and requested that Italy ensure such access. At a time when Italy had reduced the length of detention to a maximum of 90 days, the CAT welcomed these changes by calling for a further reduction, emphasising that detention should only be used in exceptional cases and for the shortest possible time. The CAT also recommended that alternatives to detention be considered.[60]

In 2019, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) discussed immigration detention in their concluding observations. The CRC expressed its concern over the increase in the maximum length of detention to 180 days,[61] while the CED urged the Italian government to release a list of immigration detention facilities (in light of Decree Law 113/2018 providing for the potential expansion of places of detention), and to provide the NPM with access.[62]   

Italy also ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1989 and its Optional Protocol (OPCAT) in 2013. As such, places of detention can be monitored by the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT). The SPT visited Italy in 2015, and its report discussed problems in reception and detention facilities in quite some detail. [63] In its recommendations, the SPT urged Italy to prioritise non-custodial measures over detention, so that immigration detention is only ever a measure of last resort, and recommended that authorities address the prison-like design and security arrangements of CPRs, which were deemed inappropriate for immigration detention. [64]

Italy is also a member state of the Council of Europe and ratified the European Convention on the Prevention of Torture in 1988. Consequently, it can receive monitoring visits by the CPT—the last of which that involved visits to immigration detention facilities took place in 2017.[65] On this occasion, the committee visited both hotspots and immigration detention centres. Hotspots received positive comments (such as good quality of health care provision) as well as suggestions for improvement. Amongst other issues, the CPT, noting the practice of de facto detention in hotspots, raised the issue that the legal grounds for conducting such detention operations were lacking. Similarly, CPRs were both commended (such as a lack of ill-treatment allegations, and good quality of health care services) and criticised (including a lack of daily activities for detainees and facilities’ prison-like environments).[66]

2.14 Transparency and access to information. Formal requests to gain improved clarity of Italy’s detention operations are sometimes stymied by a lack of transparency. For instance, between 2013 and 2015 Access Info Europe and the GDP undertook a joint initiative aimed at assessing the degree of openness with respect to information about immigration detention in 33 countries, including Italy.[67] We repeatedly sent brief questionnaires asking for data on where people were detained and how many had been detained in recent years, and requesting details about asylum seekers and children in detention. The questions were translated and sent using designated channels and in line with access to information laws. Italy was one of six countries that ignored all requests (the others included Cyprus, Iceland, Malta, Norway, and Portugal). Discussing these cases, the report noted, “Administrative silence in the face of access to information requests is unacceptable as access to information is a fundamental human right.”[68]

2.15 Trends and statistics. Based on available statistics from official sources, it appears that the number of detainees in Italy dropped considerably between 2012 and 2016: from nearly 8,000 in 2012[69] to 5,200 in 2015[70] and 2,984 in 2016.[71] Since then, however, the total number of immigration detainees seems to have again increased: 4,087 non-citizens were detained in 2017[72] and 4,092 in 2018.[73] These figures only include non-citizens held in CPRs.

Meanwhile, the number of non-citizens entering hotspots is instead decreasing: from 65,295 in 2016[74] to 40,534 in 2017[75] and 13,777 in 2018.[76] These figures, however, do not specify to which regime immigrants are subjected to.

In 2018, 85 percent of non-citizens detained in CPRs were men (i.e., 3,460 male detainees in total). Detainees’ top countries of origin were Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria, Albania, and China. 43 percent of detainees were released with the implementation of a return, and 23 percent were released due to a lack of judiciary validation of detention.[77]

That same year, men accounted for 72 percent of individuals entering hotspots, women for nine percent, and minors for 20 percent. The top countries of origin of non-citizens entering hotspots in 2018 were Tunisia, Eritrea, Sudan, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria.[78] 

According to Eurostat, 36,240 non-citizens were ordered to leave Italy in 2017. In 2016, 32,365 non-citizens were ordered to leave, and in 2015 27,305 were ordered to leave.[79] Yet, only 7,045 non-citizens were returned in 2017 (of which, 4,935 were returned forcibly), 5,790 (4,505 forcibly) in 2016, and 4,670 (3,655 forcibly) in 2015.[80] According to the National Guarantor, in 2018 Italy returned 6,398 non-citizens.

2.16 Privatisation. There is a significant level of privatisation in the Italian immigration detention system involving both private and not-for-profit entities. Until 2015, the Italian Red Cross was the main contractor operating what were at the time called the Centres for Identification and Expulsion, or CIEs. It reportedly had a contract of 3.5 million Euros to operate these detention centres, but it was repeatedly criticised for mismanagement and other problems. In 2015, management and services of several CIEs—which were subsequently replaced by Return Detention Centres (CPRs)—was turned over to a private company, GEPSA.[81] The company, a French subsidiary of the company Cofely that is part of the multinational energy company ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez), has provided services in detention centers and prisons in both Italy (three CIEs) and France (services at 34 prisons and 8 CRAs “Centres de Retention Administrative”).[82]

The prefectures where immigration centres are located outsource services at the centres on behalf of the Interior Ministry. The criterion used for deciding contracts is supposed to be “value for money.” Services mentioned in contract tenders reportedly fall under the following main categories: provision of services and supply of goods (which include administrative management, general assistance, medical assistance, transport, and delivery of goods); meal provision; cleaning services; and environmental hygiene.[83]

Several institutions that provide management or services at immigration and asylum facilities have been investigated for corruption.[84] For instance, as part of the “Mafia Capitale” investigation, four managers of the Cooperative La Cascina were arrested for corruption related to their management of the Mineo Centri di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo (Centre for the Reception of Asylum Seekers)[85] and an additional 13 employees of the Cooperative Connecting People, which managed both a reception centre and a detention centre in Garadisca d’Isonzo, were accused of fraud.[86]

In a separate case, several people—including a priest and manager of a Catholic charity—associated with a clan, which is part of the powerful ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate, were arrested in May 2017 following accusations that they took millions of euros that were intended for operations at the Sant’Anna migrant facility in Capo Rizzuto. The facility was nominally operated by the Catholic Misericordia charity. According to the BBC, “the arrests come two years after L'Espresso magazine published an investigation, alleging funds were being stolen and managers were making money by starving the migrants who lived there. A year earlier, it was alleged the number of migrants said to be living at the centre had been greatly over exaggerated, while in 2013 a health inspection found asylum seekers were being fed small portions of out-of-date food. Police believe the clan … was awarding contracts, including for food supplies, to other members of the 'Ndrangheta syndicate, as well as setting up its own associations.”[87]

According to some observers, the amendments introduced by Decree Law 113/2018, as well as the new terms and conditions for tenders, penalise smaller cooperatives and open the doors to large international companies operating in the domain of immigration, including GEPSA and the Swiss ORS.[88]

2.17 Externalisation, readmission and third country agreements. Within Europe, Italy has been a leading proponent for increasing cooperation with African countries—particularly Libya—in order to stem migration flows. The country has also signed readmission agreements with several countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Morocco.[89]

The vast majority of arriving asylum seekers and migrants depart from Libya (according to UNHCR, in 2016 departures from Libya amounted to 89.7 percent of maritime arrivals in Italy),[90] thus it has been an important country with which bilateral agreements have been signed (most notably in 2009 and 2012) and cooperation has increased, including direct collaboration with the Libyan Coast Guard and the establishment of border protection agreements with local tribes in the interior of Libya.[91] In February 2017, Italy and Libya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) expressing their commitment in cooperating to deal with, and combat, irregular migration. The current political situation in Libya prevents the formalisation of readmission agreements, yet the Interior Ministry at the time has repeatedly claimed that cooperation with Libya is essential to halt irregular arrivals and increase expulsions.[92] By mid-2017, the Italian government was claiming that its engagement strategy was a clear success, pointing to dramatic decreases in arrivals in July and August while ignoring the horrific treatment faced by migrants and asylum seekers in custody in Libya.[93] HRW commented, “After years of saving lives at sea, Italy is preparing to help Libyan forces who are known to detain people in conditions that expose them to a real risk of torture, sexual violence and forced labour.”[94]

The Department of Public Security has initiated joint operations with several important countries of origin, including Gambia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.[95] Agreements aimed at enhancing police cooperation do not need to be approved by the parliament. One such agreement, a 2016 MoU between the Italian and Sudanese police forces, is aimed at strengthening police cooperation between the two countries to combat organised crime, trafficking of migrants and irregular immigration, the trade in human beings, drug trafficking, and terrorism.[96] The existence of this agreement was brought to light when a group of 48 Sudanese refugees were coercively taken from the border of Ventimiglia, transported to the hotspot in Taranto, and then on to the airport in Turin from which they were deported back to Sudan.[97] According to Amnesty International, none of the deportations had been officially authorised by the giudice di pace.[98]

At the beginning of 2019, the text of a classified agreement concluded between Italy and Niger in 2017 was made public after a group of NGOs appealed to the Administrative Tribunal of Lazio demanding that it disclose its content.[99] While the agreement mainly regulates cooperation in the field of defence, it was presented to the parliament as an instrument aimed at “consolidating their respective defensive capabilities and improving mutual understanding on issues of security (fight against irregular immigration, terrorism and illegal trafficking).”[100]

After his 2014 visit to Italy, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants highlighted readmission agreements as a key concern with respect to the country’s efforts to adhere to critical human rights norms: “Of particular concern to the Special Rapporteur is the information he received about continued violations of the principle of non-refoulement and of the prohibition of collective expulsions with regard to the return of some migrants, possibly including minors, immediately after their arrival. He learned that, on the basis of bilateral readmission agreements, nationals of Egypt and Tunisia are often returned without having had access to asylum procedures; this has occurred in, among other places, Pozzallo.”[101]

2.18 External sources of funding or assistance. External support for immigration-detention-related activities in Italy has largely centred on the country’s “hotspots.” In May 2015 the European Commission, as part of its agenda on migration, outlined the “hotspot” approach.[102] Hotspots were to be located at arrival points in frontline member states (Italy and Greece) and were “designed to inject greater order into migration management by ensuring that all those arriving are identified, registered and properly processed.”[103] Ultimately, this approach was supposed to enhance the effectiveness of the EU’s relocation programmes and speed up returns of those classified as “economic migrants.” Up to five EU agencies can operate in hotspots (in addition to other local and international actors): Frontex, European Asylum Support Office (EASO), EUROPOL, the Fundamental Rights Agency, and euLisa.[104] According to one report, as of late 2018 only EASO and Frontex were present at the Messina hotspot.

 

3.     DETENTION INFRASTRUCTURE

3.1 Summary. Italy has operated various types of facilities for immigration purposes, including: temporary stay and assistance centres (Centri di permanenza temporanea e assistenza - CPTAs); centres for first aid and reception (Centri di primo soccorso ed accoglienza - CPSAs); reception centres (centri d’accoglienza – CDAs); centres for the reception of asylum seekers (Centri di accoglienza per richiedenti asilo – CARAs); and “hotspots.” As per the methodology used by Italy’s National Preventive Mechanism and Italian NGOs like ASGI, this GDP profile focuses mainly on those facilities that are designated as pre-removal detention centres (CPRs) as well as hotspots.[105]

The only officially recognised detention facilities in Italy are the seven Return Detention Centres (CPRs, previously Identification and Expulsion Centres, or CIEs) (Immigration Act, Article 14(1); Article 6(2), Reception Decree). The function of these centres is to administratively detain those non-citizens slated for deportation. If there are no places available in the CPRs, a judge may allow a non-citizen to be detained in an appropriate facility until the validation hearing. If there are still no places in CPRs following the hearing, the judge may allow the individual to be placed in a border office facility for up to 48 hours (Article 13(5bis), Immigration Act).

However, de facto detention has long occurred in hotspot facilities, and since December 2018, legislative amendments have introduced this possibility in law by creating a ground to detain asylum seekers for identification purposes. Still, the law fails to specify which facilities can be used for such purposes.[106]

Over the last few years, the number of CPRs has decreased. In February 2013, there were 13, but by July 2014, following the closure of the Modena and Lamezia Terme facilities, there were 11 in operation.[107] According to the “Italian Roadmap” produced by the Interior Ministry in September 2015, only seven CPRs were then in operation: Caltanissetta Contrada Pian del Lago, Roma Ponte Galeria, Torino Corso Brunelleschi, Brindisi Restinco, Bari Palese area Aereoportuale, Crotone Sant’Anna, and Trapani Milo (204). Meanwhile, as of early 2017, only four CPRs were open— Caltanissetta, Rome, Torino, and Brindisi (with combined capacity of 359). 

According to LasciateCIEntrare, this decrease in CPRs was the result of various factors, including the increased visibility of abuses in facilities, as highlighted by civil society, as well as increasing detainee protests, among other factors.[108]

However, in 2017 this closure trend saw a major reversal following the approval of Law Decree no.13 (later converted with amendments into Law no.46)—otherwise known as the Minniti-Orlando law. Indeed, this law allocated 13 million EUR to the development of new detention centres across Italy (Article 19 (2)) and authorised the expenditure of some four million EUR in 2017, 12.5 million EUR in 2018, and 18 million EUR in 2019 for the management of the new facilities (Article 19(3)). In May 2016, the Interior Ministry provided regional authorities with a list of 11 facilities that will be converted into CPRs—many of which were former CPRs. Together these new facilities would add 1,100 places to the country’s long-term detention estate.[109] (Article 19(2) of the law also states that the facilities, under public ownership, will have a limited capacity to guarantee conditions of detention that respect the dignity of persons.)

Since the introduction of this law, the number of CPRs has increased, and is expected to further grow in the coming years. Thus, as of February 2019, Italy operated seven CPRs with a total capacity of 751.[110] In 2019 six new CPRs are expected to open in Gradisca d’Isonzo (Gorizia); Macomer (Cagliari); Milano; Modena; Mamertina (Reggio Calabria); and Montichiari (Brescia).[111] 

Since the amendments introduced by Decree Law 113/2018, asylum seekers can be held at first reception centres for identification purposes (Article 6(3bis), Reception Decree). ASGI however highlights that the law fails to specify which facilities, specifically, can be used for this purpose and that the Interior Ministry declared that such centres will have to be identified by local prefectures.[112] (In this regard, in 2019 the CED urged the Italian government to publish a complete list of immigration detention facilities.)[113] 

3.2 List of detention facilities. As of 2019, Italy operates seven CPRs: Torino (capacity of 147), Trapani-Milo (capacity of 205), Palazzo San Gervasio-Potenza (capacity of 100); Bari-Palese (capacity of 54); Caltanisetta-Pian del Lago (capacity of 72); Roma-Ponte Galeria (capacity of 125), Brindisi-Restinco (capacity of 48). The total capacity of these was 751 as of February 2019.[114] The country also operates four hotspots: Pozzallo; Lampedusa; Messina; and Taranto—but according to ASGI, the total capacity of these four hotspots is not currently known.[115]  

3.3 Conditions and regimes in detention centres.

3.3a Overview. Monitoring bodies that have visited CPRs have noted that detention conditions vary according to the centre in question. However, several critical issues have been identified, albeit to a varying extent, in each centre in recent years. These range from the prison-like design and atmosphere in pre-removal facilities to the lack of leisure activities available for detainees and lack of worship spaces.[116]  

3.3b Brindisi CPR. The centre is composed of three separate sections[117] and was managed, as of February 2018, by the cooperative Auxilium.[118] During its last visit, the National Guarantor found that the centre lacked communal areas and that leisure activities were not available for detainees. In fact, besides a football field, a television, and an Italian course, no other activity was regularly offered. The centre’s sanitary facilities, specifically showers, were noted as problematic, while other concerns identified by the NPM relate to the way in which procedures were conducted at the facility. For example, the prefecture had reportedly asked the cooperative managing the centre to reduce detainees’ access to lawyers. There have also been cases of minors being confined in the centre even after they declared they were underage.[119]

On 2 June 2019, a young Nigerian man hung himself at the centre. LasciateCIEntrare reported that this death could well have been prevented. Indeed, the man’s mental health problems were known and yet he was placed in detention and was never offered the option of talking to a psychiatrist during his time in the facility. LasciateCIEntrare denounced the prefecture’s swift burial of the man without any form of autopsy, and called for a full autopsy and toxicology report to ascertain the precise cause of death.[120] 

3.3c Bari CPR. The centre was opened in 2017. At the time of the NPM’s visit in February 2018, the cooperative Costruiamo Insieme temporarily managed the facility. The National Guarantor identified several problems with respect to detention conditions at the centre, including a lack of common space for leisure activities (there was just one small room), poor sleeping arrangements (there were no sheets on the beds or other bedding accessories), and damage to the facility that was not addressed by the management (during its visit, the NPM found a broken window which, according to detainees, had been damaged months before).[121] Detention conditions led detainees to organise a protest at the end of 2018.[122] In April 2019, a group of detainees set fire to the facility in an attempt to escape, however they failed in their efforts and were instead injured.[123]

3.3d Potenza CPR. Opened in January 2018,[124] the Potenza CPR began operating before its renovation was completed. At the time of the National Guarantor’s visit in February 2018, the facility was managed by Engel Italia Srl. One of the main problems characterising the centre was the lack of any form of communal area—there was not even a space for detainees to eat. The NPM also noted with concern that there was an insufficient number of showers, and they were all placed away from the facility’s living area. Moreover, doors did not have handles, lights were on for 24 hours a day, and there was a cockroach infestation within the centre.[125] In December 2018, detainees attempted to stop the expulsion of six Nigerians by setting fire to the facility.[126] 

3.3e Caltanissetta CPR. Located within a larger centre for asylum seekers—albeit physically separated from it—the Caltanissetta CPR is managed by Auxilium. Within the detention facility, there is a canteen, an outdoor space to practice sport, a health care room, and a worship space. Following its visit in 2017, the CPT described conditions in the centre as “very poor.” In particular, the committee found that in some parts of the centre, the space provided for each detainee was too small, rooms lacked furniture, bedding items were dirty, and toilets and showers were in poor condition. According to the CPT report, on some occasions the number of detainees held in the centre exceeded the facility’s maximum capacity. (On a brighter note, the CPT commended the quality of health care services as well as the centre’s open door regime.)[127] Similarly, in 2017 the NPM described material conditions as “rather degraded and in need of maintenance” and rooms as “cramped, characterized by poor ventilation and natural lighting.”[128] Protests and escape attempts are not unusual at the centre: in December 2018, detainees set fire to the centre, and that same month several detainees initiated a mass fight. In January 2019, an escape attempt caused serious injuries to one detainee.[129]

3.3f Torino CPR. The centre, which is managed by the French company GEPSA,[130] is composed of seven distinct subdivisions and detainees enjoy an open door regime within their own sector.[131] In 2017, the CPT visited the facility and reported that the material and hygiene conditions of rooms and sanitary annexes were acceptable.[132] The centre is equipped with common rooms, although according to the NPM they should be better furnished. Each room has its own sanitary annex but the two are not separated by a door or a curtain, depriving detainees of the privacy they should rightfully enjoy. Lighting also constitutes a problem in Turin, as detainees cannot switch it on or off as they wish because the controllers are located away from their housing units. Detainee accommodation is separated from staff areas, meaning that detainees must communicate with staff through gates when they wish, for instance, to turn lights on or off. During its visit, the National Guarantor noticed the existence of security cells, and requested that their use was discontinued. At least three self-declared minors were detained at the Torino CPR in 2018.[133] In October 2018, detainees set fire to their mattresses during a protest.[134]

3.3g Roma Ponte Galeria CPR. The centre has an open-door regime and is the only pre-removal facility to detain women in Italy.[135] Following its visit in April 2017, the NPM noted that conditions in the centre were unacceptable and posed a health threat to both detainees and staff. It also identified a lack of furniture, a limited variety of recreation activities, and the fact that the centre detained individuals without taking their immigration status into account (i.e., whether they were asylum seekers or not).[136] In June 2017, the CPT also visited the facility, although the committee’s findings contradicted those of the NPM: specifically, it found that hygiene, light, and ventilation met standards, and health care services were considered suitable. However, the committee did express concern regarding a mosquito infestation.[137]

3.3h Trapani CPR. With the capacity of 205 places, the centre is the largest pre-removal detention centre in Italy. Previously a hotspot, it was converted into a CPR in September 2018.[138] Cooperativa Badia manages the facility.[139] As the facility began detention operations relatively recently, there are currently few reports detailing conditions in the centre. ASGI has however expressed its concern regarding reports of migrants being placed in the CPR upon arrival for identification purposes.[140] LasciateCIEntrare has also denounced the fact that an unaccompanied child was detained at the CPR in January 2019, even though the family had sent the birth certificate proving his young age.[141]

3.3i Hotspots. Unlike hotspots in Greece, Italian hotspots are not regulated by specific laws. Instead, they are only regulated at a policy level through a “Roadmap”[142] developed by the Interior Ministry and standard operating procedures (SOPs)[143] drafted with the assistance of the European Commission, Frontex, Europol, the European Asylum Support Office, UNHCR, and the IOM. According to these guidelines, non-citizens are to be identified, registered, and fingerprinted at hotspots and subsequently either channelled to the reception system (if an application for international protection has been made) or transferred to a pre-removal detention centre (if the person is categorised as undocumented). Law 46/2017 (Minniti-Orlando) introduced the concept of hotspots (referred to as “punti di crisi”) into Italian legislation (Article 17, Law 46/2017). However, according to the Italian Refugee Council, this act does not clarify or standardise the functioning of hotspots at a legislative level, which would include provisions establishing whether hotspots should operate an open- or closed-door policy.[144]

A core objective of the hotspot approach is to ensure the swift identification and subsequent categorisation of non-citizens arriving in Europe.[145] Since the end of 2015, there has been a notable increase in the rate of fingerprinting, which was reportedly a result of the increased use of aggressive and coercive measures on the part of the Italian police.[146] Although the law does not allow for the use of force, in 2014 a ministerial circular explained that fingerprints could be taken “even with the use of force if necessary.”[147] In practice, non-citizens are prevented from leaving hotspot premises until they have been identified and fingerprinted. With the amendments to the Reception Decree and the Immigration Act introduced by Decree Law 113/2018, detention for identification purposes has been recognised de jure (see Article 6(3bis) Reception Decree).

This measure amounts to de facto detention, in line with the ECtHR’s ruling in Amuur v. France (the court ruled that holding asylum seekers in an airport international zone for 20 days under police surveillance amounted to detention). Thus, in the GDP’s terminology, hotspots should be classified as secure reception centres. At the same time, these centres also function as non-secure reception centres, accommodating those who have passed though the identification phase. Such persons are generally allowed to exit the facilities during the day. The GDP thus classifies the hotspots as both “secure” (with respect to the population prevented from leaving the premises) and “non-secure” reception centres (for the population who can exit the premises during the day).

Reports indicate that the role of hotspots has expanded to include detention not just of maritime arrivals but also those detained in northern Italy’s border regions. According to observers, since mid-2016 officials at border points with France (Ventimiglia) and Switzerland (Como) have been transferring apprehended migrants to hotspots such as Taranto.[148] Most of the transferees have already been identified and fingerprinted, in some cases after having been hosted in a reception centre. Observers speculate that these transfers are intended to serve as a coercive measure aimed at discouraging border-crossings.[149]

Conditions of detention in hotspot facilities vary depending on the centre considered and on the number of detainees held at a given time.[150]

The first operational hotspot in Italy—the Lampedusa Hotspot—was previously a Centre for First Aid and Reception (CPSA). It was converted into a hotspot in September 2015. Until July 2016, services were supplied by the Confraternita Nazionale delle Misericordie, which were then taken over by the Cooperative Vivere.[151] As of January 2019, the facility was managed by the Facility Service Onlus.[152] Although the hotspot is a “closed” centre, a study conducted by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the Danish Refugee Council, and other groups reported that detainees could exit from a hole in the fence and that this was largely tolerated.[153]

As of 2016, the Lampedusa hotspot building was divided into compounds, with a dedicated area for women and children; there were no communal spaces or recreational activities. Toilets were not heated or cleaned properly, and space in the dormitories was insufficient. Several reports raised concerns regarding conditions of detention, including in terms of the lack of a canteen and launderette, the lack of a ventilation system, and extremely hot rooms in the summer (and very cold rooms in the winter,[154] accommodation of children alongside adults,[155] lack of a common room,[156] lack of leisure activities,[157] and poor state and availability of bedding and sanitary annexes.[158]

In March 2018, it was announced that the hotspot would be temporarily closed. This followed various incidents in the centre, including the suicide of a Tunisian national in early 2018, protests, a fire, and critical reports on conditions by the National Guarantor and ASGI—which, inter alia, raised concerns about the practice of detaining non-citizens for more than 48 hours, a practice that lacked a legal ground at the time.[159] However, the Interior Ministry’s press communiqué concerning the temporary closure of the centre specified that the facility could have been used in case of disembarkations for first aid and identification procedures.[160] According to press and NGOs reports, the centre has never entirely closed.[161]

The Messina Hotspot was subject to an investigative report in August 2018. The report stated that the facility resembled “an overcrowded slum … intrusive, suffocating” and described living conditions as intolerable due to ventilation, lighting, safety, and structural problems.[162]

The Pozzallo Hotspot was visited by both the National Guarantor and the CPT in 2017. According to the NPM, material conditions were good and hygiene standards were respected. The facility, however, lacked a common area for migrants to spend time together (during meals or in other moments of the day).[163] Meanwhile, the CPT described the centre as in good condition, characterised by a calm environment. It commended the presence of laundry and barber services, as well as the quality of health care services.[164]

The Taranto Hotspot is the only hotspot that is not located in Sicily. The facility consists of tented structures. Following a visit in 2016, the National Guarantor described conditions in the facility as good: the centre itself, and sanitary annexes, were clean, and health and hygiene-related measures were in place to avoid scabies epidemics and to treat infected migrants. The NPM did, however, point out that migrants faced difficulties in contacting family members because no phone was available at the hotspot and no phone card was provided.[165] A visit by ASGI in 2017 revealed the presence of unaccompanied children detained together with adults, without any possibility of establishing communication with persons outside the facility. These observations led ASGI to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.[166]

 


[1] UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), “Operational Portal - Mediterranean Situation,” https://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/mediterranean/location/5205

[2] UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), “Number of Unaccompanied or Separated Children Arriving by Sea to Italy Doubles in 2016,” 13 January 2017, https://www.unicef.org/media/media_94399.html

[3] UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), “Italy Sea Arrivals Dashboard,” 27 May 2019, https://reliefweb.int/report/italy/italy-sea-arrivals-dashboard-april-2019

[4] Linkiesta, “La Diciotti ferma a Catania è il trionfo di Salvini (e se non l’avete capito preparatevi al peggio,” 23 August 2018, https://www.linkiesta.it/it/article/2018/08/23/la-diciotti-ferma-a-catania-e-il-trionfo-di-salvini-e-se-non-lavete-ca/39198/

[5] G. Jones, “Italian Parliament Saves Salvini from Migrant Kidnapping Probe,” Reuters, 20 March 2019, https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-italy-politics-salvini/italian-parliament-saves-salvini-from-migrant-kidnapping-probe-idUKKCN1R11Y0

[6] L. Tondo, “Italy Plans to Fine NGO Boats up to €5,000 per Rescued Migrant,” The Guardian, 13 May 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/13/italy-fine-ngo-boats-migrants-salvini

[7] UN Human Rights Council, “Italy: UN Experts Condemn Bill to Fine Migrant Rescuers,” 20 May 2019, https://reliefweb.int/report/italy/italy-un-experts-condemn-bill-fine-migrant-rescuers

[8] L. Tondo, “Italy Adopts Decree That Could Fine Migrant Rescuers up to €50,000,” The Guardian, 15 June 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/15/italy-adopts-decree-that-could-fine-migrant-rescue-ngo-aid-up-to-50000

[9] Garante Nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale (Italian ombudsman), “Relazione al Parlamento 2018.”                 

[10] Gazzetta Ufficiale, “Decreto-Legge 4 Ottobre 2018, n. 113,” 4 October 2018, https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2018/10/04/18G00140/sg

[11] Luca Masera (University of Brescia), Telephone interview with Michael Flynn (Global Detention Project), 23 November 2012; Claudia Pretto (Association for Legal Studies on Immigration – ASGI), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 4 November 2012.

[12] D. Venturi, “The Grand Chamber’s Ruling in Khlaifia and Others v Italy: One Step Forward, One Step Back?” Strasbourg Observers, 10 January 2017, https://strasbourgobservers.com/2017/01/10/the-grand-chambers-ruling-in-khlaifia-and-others-v-italy-one-step-forward-one-step-back/

[13] V. Pisani, ”Consideration of Italy - Replies of Italy: 62nd Session of the Committee Against Torture,” 15 November 2017, http://bit.ly/2DlJ6VG

[14] Valeria Ferraris (Association for Legal Studies on Immigration - ASGI), Email Correspondence with Michael Flynn (GDP), 19 November 2017.

[15] Foundation for Access to Rights et al, “Crossing a Red Line: How EU Countries Undermine the Right to Liberty by Expanding the Use of Detention of Asylum Seekers Upon Entry,” February 2019, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/crossing_a_red_line_REPORT.pdf

[16] European Commission, “Malta Declaration by the Members of the European Council on the External Aspects of Migration: Addressing the Central Mediterranean Route,” 3 February 2017, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/01/03-malta-declaration/

[17] Associated Press, “Italian Effort to Stop Migrants Fuels Bloody Battle in Libya,” 5 October 2017, https://www.voanews.com/a/libya-militias-migrants-sabratha/4057716.html

[18] InfoMigrants, “Salvini Calls for Migrants to go Back to Libya,” 17 July 2018, http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/10685/salvini-calls-for-migrants-to-go-back-to-libya

[19] Senate Human Rights Commission, “Rapporto Sui Centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione in Italia,” January 2017, https://www.senato.it/application/xmanager/projects/leg17/file/Cie%20rapporto%20aggiornato%20(2%20gennaio%202017).pdf; Luca Masera (University of Brescia), Telephone interview with Michael Flynn (Global Detention Project), 23 November 2012; Claudia Pretto (Association for Legal Studies on Immigration - ASGI), Email correspondence with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), 4 November 2012.

[20] Italian Parliament, “Legge 6 marzo 1998, n.40, ‘Disciplina dell’immigrazione e norme sulla condizione dello straniero,’” 1998, http://www.camera.it/parlam/leggi/98040l.htm

[21] Italian Parliament, “Legge 30 luglio 2002, n.189, ‘Modifica alla normative in material di immigrazione e di asilo,’” 2002, http://www.camera.it/parlam/leggi/02189l.htm

[22] Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). 2011. Hassen El Dridi alias Soufi Karim. Judgment C-61/11 PPU. 28 April 2011. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:62011CJ0061:EN:HTM

[23] Valeria Ferraris (ASGI), Email Correspondence with Michael Flynn (GDP), 19 November 2017.

[24] For a discussion of Celaj and El Dridi, see: European Database of Asylum Law, “CJEU: Case C-290/14 Skerdjan Celaj (Italy) – Return Directive,” 1 October 2015, https://www.asylumlawdatabase.eu/en/content/cjeu-case-c-29014-skerdjan-celaj-italy-–-return-directive

[25] Italian Council of Refugees (CIR) and Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report : Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/italy; Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[26] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[27] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[28] M. Di Donato, and D. Di Rado, “AIDA Country Report: Italy,” European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/italy

[29] Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Italy: Children Stuck in Unsafe Migrant Hotspot,” 23 June 2016, https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/23/italy-children-stuck-unsafe-migrant-hotspot

[30] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[31] A. Ballerini, “A Lampedusa l’Hotspot non ci può essere,” Melting Pot, 2 February 2016, http://www.meltingpot.org/A-Lampedusa-l-Hot-spot-non-ci-puo-essere.html

[32] A. Manzoor Mughal, N. Hassan, and A. Ahmed, “Bone Age Assessment Methods: A Critical Review,” Pak J Med Sci, 30(1), January-February 2014.

[33] M. Di Donato, and D. Di Rado, “AIDA Country Report: Italy,” European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/italy

[34] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[35] M. Di Donato, and D. Di Rado, “AIDA Country Report: Italy,” European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/italy

[36] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[37] Italian Parliament, “Disposizioni in material di sicurezza pubblica,” 15 July 2009, http://www.parlamento.it/parlam/leggi/09094l.htm.

[38] Commissione Straordinaria per la Tutela e la Promozione dei Diritti Umani, Senato della Repubblica, “Rapporto sui Centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione in Italia,” February 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/senato_cie_report_2016.pdf

[39] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[40] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[41] F. Crépeau, “Report by the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, François Crépeau, on his Mission to Italy (29 September - 8 October),” Human Rights Council, 2012, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Migration/SRMigrants/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx

[42] Monitoring Center on Juridical Control of Migrants’ Removal, “Executive Summary 2016,” 1 March 2017, http://www.lexilium.it/pubblicazioni/.

[43] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[44] A. Di Pascale, “Redial Project: National Synthesis Report - Italy,” Odysseus Network, http://euredial.eu/publications/national-synthesis-reports/

[45] Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), “Building Strategies to Improve the Protection of Children in an Irregular Migration Situation in Europe: Country Brief Italy,” July 2012, http://picum.org/it/pubblicazioni/rapporti-di-conferenze-e-seminari/

[46] Monitoring Center on Juridical Control of Migrants’ Removal, “Executive Summary 2016,” 1 March 2017, http://www.lexilium.it/pubblicazioni/

[47] Interior Ministry, “Uffici del territorio,” Ministero – Ministero dell’Interno, http://www.interno.gov.it/it/ministero/uffici-territorio

[48] Interior Ministry, “Direzione central dei Servizi civili per l’Immigrazione e l’Asilo,” Dipartimento per le Libertà civili e l’immigrazione – Ministero dell’Interno, 13 May 2019, http://www.interno.gov.it/it/ministero/dipartimenti/dipartimento-liberta-civili-e-limmigrazione/direzione-centrale-dei-servizi-civili-limmigrazione-e-lasilo

[49] Interior Ministry, “Regolamento recante criteri per l’organizzazione e la gestione dei CIE,” Melting Pot, 20 October 2014, http://www.meltingpot.org/Regolamento-recante-criteri-per-l-organizzazione-e-la.html#.WRrAh1WLSUk

[50]  Interior Ministry, “Criteri per l’organizzazione e la gestione dei centri di identificazione ed espulsione previsti dall’articolo 14 del decreto legislativo 25 luglio 1998, 286 e successive modificazioni,” 2014, http://www.prefettura.it/FILES/docs/1233/Regolamento%20Unico%20CIE.pdf

[51] Interior Ministry, “Circolare del 30 agosto 2000,” 30 August 2000, http://bit.ly/2mrnfVB

[52] G. Campesi, “La detenzione amministrativa degli stranieri in Italia: storia, diritto, política,” Democrazia e Diritto, 2011.

[53] Valeria Ferraris (ASGI), Email Correspondence with Michael Flynn (GDP), 19 November 2017.

[54] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[55] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale,Chi siamo,” http://www.garantenazionaleprivatiliberta.it/gnpl/it/chisiamo.page; Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale,Rapporti,http://www.garantenazionaleprivatiliberta.it/gnpl/it/rapporti.page

[56] LasciateCIEntrare, “Monitoraggio,LasciateCIEntrare – Campagna nazionale contro la detenzione amministrativa dei migranti, https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/monitoraggio/

[57] Foundation for Access to Rights et al, “Crossing a Red Line: How EU Countries Undermine the Right to Liberty by Expanding the Use of Detention of Asylum Seekers Upon Entry,” February 2019, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/crossing_a_red_line_REPORT.pdf

[58] Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), “Concluding Observations on the Combined Nineteenth and Twentieth Periodic Reports of Italy, CERD/C/ITA/CO/19-20,” 17 February 2017, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CERD/Shared%20Documents/ITA/CERD_C_ITA_CO_19-20_26015_E.pdf; UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), “Concluding Observations on the Sixth Periodic Report of Italy, CCPR/C/ITA/CO/6,” 1 May 2017, https://bit.ly/2ZLWyfA

[59] UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), “Concluding Observations on the Seventh Periodic Report of Italy, CEDAWC/ITA/CO/7,” 24 July 2017, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW/C/ITA/CO/7&Lang=En

[60] UN Committee against Torture (CAT), “Concluding Observations on the Combined Fifth and Sixth Periodic Reports of Italy, CAT/C/ITA/CO/5-6,” 18 December 2017, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CAT%2fOP%2fITA%2f1&Lang=en

[61] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), “Concluding Observations on the Combined Fifth and Sixth Periodic Reports of Italy, CRC/C/ITA/CO/5-6,” 28 February 2019, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC/C/ITA/CO/5-6&Lang=En

[62] UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), “Concluding Observations on the Report Submitted by Italy Under Article 29 (1) of the Convention, CED/C/ITA/CO/1,” 18 April 2019, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CED/Shared%20Documents/ITA/CED_C_ITA_CO_1_34739_E.pdf

[63] Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (OHCHR), “Visits and Public Reports (Alphabetical Rrder),” https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/CountryVisits.aspx?SortOrder=Alphabetical  

[64] Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT), “Report on the Visit Made by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to Italy, CAT/OP/ITA/1,” 23 September 2016, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/CountryVisits.aspx?SortOrder=Alphabetical

[65] Council of Europe (COE), “The CPT and Italy,” https://www.coe.int/en/web/cpt/italy

[66] Council of Europe (COE), “Report to the Italian Government on the Visit to Italy Carried Out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 7 to 13 June 2017, CPT/Inf (2018) 13,” 10 April 2018, https://rm.coe.int/16807b6d56

[67] Global Detention Project and Access Info Europe, “The Uncounted: The Detention of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Europe,” December 2015, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/the-uncounted-the-detention-of-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-in-europe

[68] Global Detention Project and Access Info Europe, “The Uncounted: The Detention of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Europe,” December 2015, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/the-uncounted-the-detention-of-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-in-europe

[69] Police Authority data reported by Doctors for Human Rights (Medici per i Diritti Umani), cited inL: Italian Council for Refugees (CIR), “Country report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), January 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/italy/general

[70] Chamber of Deputies, “Dossier a cura degli Ispettori della Guardia di Finanza addetti all’Archivio della Commissione - Dati Statistici,” 23 January 2017, https://immigrazione.it/docs/2017/dati-statistici-23-gennaio-2017.pdf

[71] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2017,” https://bit.ly/330EZeh

[72] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2018,” 15 June 2018, https://bit.ly/2SWa9yL

[73] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, https://bit.ly/2GijVoY

[74] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale,Relazione al Parlamento 2017,” https://bit.ly/330EZeh

[75] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2018,” 15 June 2018, https://bit.ly/2SWa9yL

[76] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, https://bit.ly/2GijVoY

[77] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, https://bit.ly/2GijVoY

[78] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, https://bit.ly/2GijVoY

[79] Eurostat, “Third Country Nationals Ordered to Leave – Annual Data (Rounded),” Enforcement of Immigration Legislation, 27 May 2019, http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=migr_eiord&lang=en

[80] Eurostat, “Third Country Nationals Who Have Left the Territory by Type of Return and Citizenship,” Enforcement of Immigration Legislation, 7 May 2019, http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/submitViewTableAction.do 

[81] A. Lacy, “Italy: The Future of Migrants and Refugees,” Pulitzer Center, 11 March 2015, http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/italy-future-migrants-and-refugees

[82] Michael Flynn, “Statement to the Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries Panel on PMSCs in Places of Deprivation of Liberty and Their Impact on Human Rights,” Global Detention Project, 27 April 2017, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/statement-to-the-working-group-on-the-use-of-mercenaries-panel-on-pmscs-in-places-of-deprivation-of-liberty-and-their-impact-on-human-rights

[83] Interior Ministry, “Schema di capitolato di gara d’appalto per la fornitura di beni e servizi relativo alla gestione e al funzionamento dei centri di prima accoglienza,” December 2018, http://www.interno.gov.it/sites/default/files/schema_capitolato.pdf

[84] V. Martone, “Marketisation of Social Services and Mafia Infiltration: The Case of Migrant Reception Centres in Rome,” European Review of Organised Crime, 2017, http://sgocnet.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Martone_9-29.pdf

[85] V. Martone, “Marketisation of Social Services and Mafia Infiltration: The Case of Migrant Reception Centres in Rome,” European Review of Organised Crime, 2017, http://sgocnet.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Martone_9-29.pdf; S. Balducci “Dentro il labirinto delle cooperative di Mafia Capitale: dalla 29 Giugno a La Cascina,” RaiNews, 7 October 2015, http://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/articoli/labirinto-cooperative-Mafia-Capitale-a75ef368-a6bc-4ba1-a98a-14e65bb8446b.html

[86] M. Bovi, “Immigrazione e affari. Nuova inchiesta per Scozzari sull'accoglienza a Trapani,” Tp24, 12 February 2016, http://www.tp24.it/2016/02/12/cronaca/immigrazione-e-affari-nuova-inchiesta-per-scozzari-sull-accoglienza-a-trapani/97924

[87] BBC, “Mafia Controlled Italy Migrant Centre, Say Police,” 15 May 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39922085

[88] F. Floris, “Migranti, ora il business si chiama detenzione e rimpatrio (e a fare i soldi sono i francesi),” Linkiesta, 14 February 2019, https://www.linkiesta.it/it/article/2019/02/14/migranti-ora-il-business-si-chiama-detenzione-e-rimpatrio-e-a-fare-i-s/41082/; M. Cavallito, “Migranti SpA. Lega e 5 Stelle aprono le porte ai private che l’Austria caccia via,” Valori, January 29, 2019, https://valori.it/migranti-spa-salvini-apre-le-porte-ai-privati-che-laustria-non-vuole/; R. Battaglia, “Il deja vù della gestione migrant: il nuovo decreto è una pacchia per i big,” Valori, 29 January 2019, https://valori.it/il-deja-vu-della-gestione-migranti-il-nuovo-decreto-e-una-pacchia-per-i-big/

[89] Commissione Straordinaria per la Tutela e la Promozione dei Diritti Umani, Senato della Repubblica, “Rapporto sui Centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione in Italia,” February 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/senato_cie_report_2016.pdf

[90] UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), “Italy Sea Arrivals Dashboard,” 2016, https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/52680

[91] J. Barigazzi, “Italy Sees Unexpected Reduction in Mediterranean Migration Flows,” Politico, 3 August 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/europe-sees-unexpected-reduction-in-mediterranean-migration-flows/

[92] G. Rosini “Migranti, Minniti vuole ‘raddoppiare le espulsioni’. Ma mancano gli accordi: ‘E l’intesa con la Libia sarebbe inapplicabile,’ Il Fatto Quotidiano, 7 January 2017. See also the response from the Interior Minister to the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights’ September 2017 letter expressing concern about Italy’s collaboration with Libyan authorities, available at: https://rm.coe.int/reply-of-the-minister-of-interior-to-the-commissioner-s-letter-regardi/168075dd2d

[93] “Data from the Italian Interior Ministry shows that about 11,100 migrants made the dangerous crossing in July compared to more than double that amount in the same month in 2016 (just over 23,500).” In: J. Barigazzi, “Italy Sees Unexpected Reduction in Mediterranean Migration Flows,” Politico, 3 August 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/europe-sees-unexpected-reduction-in-mediterranean-migration-flows/; See also, G. Paravicini, “Italy’s Libyan ‘Vision’ Pays off as Migrant Flows Drop,” Politico, 10 August 2017, https://www.politico.eu/article/italy-libya-vision-migrant-flows-drop-mediterranean-sea/

[94] J. Barigazzi, “Italy Sees Unexpected Reduction in Mediterranean Migration Flows,” Politico, 3 August 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/europe-sees-unexpected-reduction-in-mediterranean-migration-flows/

[95] Commissione Straordinaria per la Tutela e la Promozione dei Diritti Umani, Senato della Repubblica,Rapporto sui Centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione in Italia,” February 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/senato_cie_report_2016.pdf

[96] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Italian Public Security Department and the Sudanese National Police. A Reading Guide,” 2016, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2016/nov/asgi-italy-sudan-mou.pdf

[97] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Italian Public Security Department and the Sudanese National Police. A Reading Guide,” 2016, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2016/nov/asgi-italy-sudan-mou.pdf

[98] Amnesty International, “Hotspot Italia: Come le Politiche dell’Unione Europea Portano a Violazioni dei Diritti di Rifugiati e Migranti,” 3 November 2016, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur30/5004/2016/it/

[99] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Immigrazione, armi e accordi internazionali: ecco il testo dell’intesa tra Italia e Niger,” 8 February 2019, https://www.asgi.it/approfondimenti-speciali/niger-italia-armi-immigrazione

[100] Camera dei Deputati,Ratifica ed esecuzione dell’Accordo di cooperazione in materia di difesa tra il Governo della Repubblica italiana e il Governo della Repubblica del Niger, fatto a Roma il 26 settembre 2017 (Presentato il 19 dicembre 2018), Camera dei Deputati N. 1468 – Disegno di Legge,” 19 December 2018, http://documenti.camera.it/leg18/pdl/pdf/leg.18.pdl.camera.1468.18PDL0043740.pdf

[101]  F. Crépeau, “Report by the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, François Crépeau, on his Follow-Up Mission to Italy (2–6 December 2014),” 2014, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Migration/SRMigrants/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx

[102] European Commission, “European Agenda on Migration,” 13 May 2015, http://bit.ly/2ktwjtE

[103] European Parliament - Policy Department for Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs, “On the Frontline: The Hotspot Approach to Managing Migration,” May 2016, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/556942/IPOL_STU(2016)556942_EN.pdf

[104] European Parliament, Policy Department for Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs, “On the Frontline: The Hotspot Approach to Managing Migration,” May 2016, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/556942/IPOL_STU(2016)556942_EN.pdf

[105] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, http://www.garantenazionaleprivatiliberta.it/gnpl/resources/cms/documents/00059ffe970d21856c9d52871fb31fe7.pdf; Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[106] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, http://www.garantenazionaleprivatiliberta.it/gnpl/resources/cms/documents/00059ffe970d21856c9d52871fb31fe7.pdf; Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[107] Senato della Repubblica,Rapporto sui Centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione in Italia,” July 2014, https://www.senato.it/application/xmanager/projects/leg17/file/RapportoCIE.pdf

[108] LasciateCIEntrare, “#20GiugnoLasciateCIEntrare,” October 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/20giugnolasciarecientrare.pdf

[109] F. Sarzanini, “Ecco i nuovi 11 centri per i rimpatri,” Corriere della Sera, 8 May 2017, https://bit.ly/2V9zxCq

[110] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, http://www.garantenazionaleprivatiliberta.it/gnpl/resources/cms/documents/00059ffe970d21856c9d52871fb31fe7.pdf; Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf 

[111] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[112] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[113] UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), “Concluding Observations on the Report Submitted by Italy Under Article 29 (1) of the Convention, CED/C/ITA/CO/1,” 18 April 2019.

[114] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Relazione al Parlamento 2019,” 27 March 2019, https://bit.ly/2GijVoY; Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[115] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[116] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite tematiche effettuate nei centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (CPR) in Italia (febbraio-marzo 2018)” 18 October 2018, https://bit.ly/3302mnt; Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite nei Centri di identificazione ed espulsione e negli hotspot n italia (2016/2017: primo anno di attività),” https://bit.ly/2HtaH8C

[117] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[118] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite tematiche effettuate nei centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (CPR) in Italia (febbraio-marzo 2018),” 18 October 2018, https://bit.ly/3302mnt

[119] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite tematiche effettuate nei centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (CPR) in Italia (febbraio-marzo 2018),” 18 October 2018, https://bit.ly/3302mnt

[120] LasciateCIEntrare, “Morire di ‘malaccoglienza’ – La storia di Harry. Arrivato come invisibile, morto da invisibile,” 3 June 2019, https://bit.ly/2JYBKxE

[121] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite tematiche effettuate nei centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (CPR) in Italia (febbraio-marzo 2018),” 18 October 2018, https://bit.ly/3302mnt

[122] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[123] Repubblica, “Bari, incendiano materassi per la fuga dal centro per i rimpatri: migranti soccorsi dal 118,” 28 April 2019, https://bari.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/04/28/news/bari_-225011214/

[124] Cronache di ordinario razzismo, “Palazzo San Gervasio: quel CPR di cui nessuno parla,” March 27, 2018, http://www.cronachediordinariorazzismo.org/palazzo-san-gervasio-quel-cpr-di-cui-nessuno-parla/

[125] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite tematiche effettuate nei centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (CPR) in Italia (febbraio-marzo 2018),” 18 October 2018, https://bit.ly/3302mnt

[126] F. Garau, “Potenza, paura al CPR: scoppia rivolta dei migrant contro rimpatrio,” Il Giornale, 15 December 2018, http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/cronache/potenza-paura-cpr-scoppia-rivolta-dei-migranti-contro-1617029.html; Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[127] Council of Europe (COE), “Report to the Italian Government on the Visit to Italy Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 7 to 13 June 2017, CPT/Inf (2018) 13,” 10 April 2018, https://rm.coe.int/16807b6d56

[128] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite nei Centri di identificazione ed espulsione e negli hotspot n italia (2016/2017: primo anno di attività),” https://bit.ly/2HtaH8C

[129] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[130] R. Battaglia, “Il deja vù dellla gestione dei migranti : il nuovo decreto è una pacchia per i big,” Valori, 29 January 2019, https://valori.it/il-deja-vu-della-gestione-migranti-il-nuovo-decreto-e-una-pacchia-per-i-big/  

[131] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[132] Council of Europe (COE) “Report to the Italian Government on the Visit to Italy Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 7 to 13 June 2017, CPT/Inf (2018) 13,” 10 April 2018, https://rm.coe.int/16807b6d56

[133] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite tematiche effettuate nei centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (CPR) in Italia (febbraio-marzo 2018),” 18 October 2018, https://bit.ly/3302mnt

[134] C. Palazzo, “Torino, rivolta e incendio al Cpr di corso Brunelleschi: un agente intossicato,” Repubblica – Torino, 17 October 2018, https://bit.ly/2ImWqgt

[135] A. Camilli, “Chi sono le donne rinchiuse nel centro di espulsione di Roma,” Internazionale, 11 February 2019, https://www.internazionale.it/reportage/annalisa-camilli/2019/02/11/cpr-roma-ponte-galeria-cie

[136] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite nei Centri di identificazione ed espulsione e negli hotspot n italia (2016/2017: primo anno di attività),” https://bit.ly/2HtaH8C

[137] Council of Europe (COE), “Report to the Italian Government on the Visit to Italy Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 7 to 13 June 2017, CPT/Inf (2018) 13,” 10 April 2018, https://rm.coe.int/16807b6d56

[138] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[139] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Il CPR di Trapani – Milo,” 15 February 2019, https://inlimine.asgi.it/il-cpr-di-trapani-milo/

[140] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Il CPR di Trapani – Milo,” 15 February 2019, https://inlimine.asgi.it/il-cpr-di-trapani-milo/

[141] LasciateCIEntrare, “Un MSNA trattenuto al CPR di Trapani,” 9 February 2019, https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/lasciatecientrare-un-msna-trattenuto-al-cpr-di-trapani/

[142] Interior Ministry, “Roadmap Italiana,” 25 September 2015, http://www.meltingpot.org/IMG/pdf/roadmap-2015.pdf

[143] Interior Ministry, “Standard Operating Procedures,” https://bit.ly/2kt9JBX

[144] Elisa Maimone (CIR Italian Refugee Council), Email exchange with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), June 2017; Francesco Ferri, Dario Belluccio, Guido Savio, and Annapaola Ammirati (Association for Legal Studies on Immigration - ASGI), Email exchange with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), June 2017.

[145] Amnesty International, “Hotspot Italia: Come le Politiche dell’Unione Europea Portano a Violazioni dei Diritti di Rifugiati e Migranti,” 3 November 2016, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur30/5004/2016/it/

[146] Such measures have allegedly included the use of torture such as electrocution, alternative use of force, and prolonged detention, see Amnesty International, “Hotspot Italia: Come le Politiche dell’Unione Europea Portano a Violazioni dei Diritti di Rifugiati e Migranti,” 3 November 2016, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur30/5004/2016/it/

[147] Interior Ministry, “Circolare n. 27978,” 23 September 2014, http://www.meltingpot.org/IMG/pdf/circolare_impronte.pdf

[148] A. Quadroni and M. Luppi, “Il ‘giro dell’oca’ dei trasferimenti coatti dal Nord Italia a Taranto,” OpenMigration, 10 November 2016, https://bit.ly/2Ik4rCM

[149] A. Quadroni and M. Luppi, “Il ‘giro dell’oca’ dei trasferimenti coatti dal Nord Italia a Taranto,” OpenMigration, 10 November 2016, https://bit.ly/2Ik4rCM

[150] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[151] E. Palazzotto, “Il Sistema Hotspot e la Negazione dello Stato di Diritto in Europa: Relazione di Minoranza sull-approccio Hotspot nell’ambito del Sistema di identificazione ed Accoglienza,” Commissione Parlamentare di Inchiesta sul sistema di accoglienza, di identificazione ed espulsione, nonche sulle condizioni di trattamento dei migranti e sulle risorse pubbliche impregnate, 2016, http://www.meltingpot.org/IMG/pdf/relazione_minoranza_hotspot_palazzotto_2_.pdf

[152] Giornale di Sicilia, “Lampedusa, lavoratori dell’hotspot senza stipend da settembre: proteste,” 12 January 2019, https://bit.ly/314a3rN

[153] European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) et al., “The Implementation of the Hotspots in Italy and Greece: A Study,” 5 December 2016, http://www.ecre.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/HOTSPOTS-Report-5.12.2016..pdf

[154] LasciateCIEntrare, “#20GiugnoLasciateCIEntrare,” October 2016, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/20giugnolasciarecientrare.pdf

[155] E. Palazzotto, “Il Sistema Hotspot e la Negazione dello Stato di Diritto in Europa: Relazione di Minoranza sull-approccio Hotspot nell’ambito del Sistema di identificazione ed Accoglienza,” Commissione Parlamentare di Inchiesta sul sistema di accoglienza, di identificazione ed espulsione, nonche sulle condizioni di trattamento dei migranti e sulle risorse pubbliche impregnate, 2016, http://www.meltingpot.org/IMG/pdf/relazione_minoranza_hotspot_palazzotto_2_.pdf

[156] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite nei Centri di identificazione ed espulsione e negli hotspot n italia (2016/2017: primo anno di attività),” https://bit.ly/2HtaH8C

[157] Council of Europe (COE), “Report to the Italian Government on the Visit to Italy Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 7 to 13 June 2017, CPT/Inf (2018) 13,” 10 April 2018, https://rm.coe.int/16807b6d56

[158] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[159] A. Camilli, “Perché il centro per migrant di Lampedusa è stato chiuso,” Internazionale, 15 March 2018, https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/annalisa-camilli/2018/03/15/hotspot-lampedusa-chiuso; G. Ruta, “Appiccato un incendio all’hotspot di Lampedusa,” Repubblica – Palermo, 8 March 2018, https://bit.ly/31S53aI

[160] Interior Ministry, “Centro di accoglienza di Lampedusa: chiusura temporanea per la ristrutturazione,” Comunicati Stampa – Ministero dell’Interno, 13 March 2018, https://bit.ly/313tp05

[161] L. Anello, “L’ultima beffa per Lampedusa: l’hotspot vergogna non chiude,” La Stampa, 18 April 2018, https://www.lastampa.it/2018/04/18/italia/lultima-beffa-per-lampedusa-lhotspot-vergogna-non-chiude-YCHhukyI2FNIaHyHDcdJXI/pagina.html; A. Nittoli, “Migranti, la denuncia dell’associazione avvocati: ‘L’hotspot ‘inagibile’ di Lampedusa è ancora aperto,’” RepTV – Repubblica, 10 April 2018, https://video.repubblica.it/dossier/immigrati-2015/migranti-la-denuncia-dell-associazione-avvocati--l-hotspot-inagibile-di-lampedusa-e-ancora-aperto/301874/302503

[162] A. Mazzeo, “L’inchiesta di Antonio Mazzeo: Hotspot Migranti di Messina. Disumano e Abusivo,” Stampa Libera, 29 August 2018, http://www.stampalibera.it/2018/08/29/linchiesta-di-antonio-mazzeo-hotspot-migranti-di-messina-disumano-e-abusivo/; Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pdf

[163] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite nei Centri di identificazione ed espulsione e negli hotspot n italia (2016/2017: primo anno di attività),” https://bit.ly/2HtaH8C

[164] Council of Europe (COE) “Report to the Italian Government on the Visit to Italy Carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 7 to 13 June 2017, CPT/Inf (2018) 13,” 10 April 2018, https://rm.coe.int/16807b6d56

[165] Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale, “Rapporto sulle visite nei Centri di identificazione ed espulsione e negli hotspot n italia (2016/2017: primo anno di attività).” https://bit.ly/2HtaH8C

[166] Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI), “Country Report: Italy,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), April 2019, http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2018update.pd

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

Total number of immigration detainees by year
4,092
2018
4,087
2017
2,984
2016
5,242
2015
6,016
2013
7,944
2012
7,000
2010
Number of immigration detainees on a given day
229
2020
1,036
2017
417
2017
0
Top nationalities of detainees
Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt
2017
Number of detained asylum seekers
150
2013
120
2013
Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
26,780
2018
36,230
2017
32,365
2016
27,305
2015
25,300
2014
23,945
2013
29,345
2012
Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
0.09
2015
0.11
2013
0.1
2013
0.12
2010
Estimated total immigration detention capacity
1,984
2018
Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
5
2018
4
2017
5
2015
Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
751
2019
538
2018
359
2017
1,066
2015
Number of ad hoc facilities
4
2018
4
2017
Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
5,615
2018
13,572
2018
7,045
2017
5,715
2016
4,670
2015
5,310
2014
5,860
2013
7,365
2012
Number of deportations/forced returns only
5,180
2018
5,323
2018
4,935
2017
4,505
2016
3,655
2015
4,330
2014
Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
19
2017
18
2016
17
2015
21
2014
Criminal prison population
56,289
2017
59,683
2014
64,835
2013
Percentage of foreign prisoners
34
2017
34.4
2014
35.3
2013
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
93
2017
99
2014
106
2013
Population
60,500,000
2020
60,483,973
2017
59,798,000
2015
61,000,000
2012
International migrants
5,907,500
2017
5,788,900
2015
5,721,500
2013
5,788,000
2010
International migrants as a percentage of the population
9.7
2015
9.4
2013
Estimated number of undocumented migrants
28,659
2018
10,000
2014
Refugees
189,243
2018
167,335
2017
147,302
2016
118,047
2015
78,061
2014
93,715
2014
64,779
2012
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
2.46
2016
1.07
2014
1.57
2014
1
2011
Total number of new asylum applications
53,500
2018
122,905
2016
123,600
2016
63,660
2014
63,657
2014
25,720
2013
17,352
2012
Refugee recognition rate
12
2018
5
2016
10.3
2014
Stateless persons
732
2018
715
2017
701
2016
747
2015
606
2015
350
2014
470
2012
Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention
Total number of detained minors
Number of detained unaccompanied minors
Number of detained accompanied minors
Number of detained stateless persons
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
Number of immigration offices
Number of transit facilities
Number of criminal facilities

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
34,908
2014
34,619
2013
33,049
2012
Remittances to the country
7,714
2014
7,382
2011
Remittances from the country
12,201
2010
Unemployment Rate
2014
2009
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
2,737
2012
4,326
2011
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
27 (Very high)
2015
26 (Very high)
2014
25 (Very high)
2012
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
87
2007
Immigration Index Score
10
2011
World Bank Rule of Law Index
62 (-0.8)
2012
63 (-0.7)
2011
63 (-0.9)
2010
Unemployment rate amongst migrants
Detention for deterrence
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2019
Constitutional guarantees?
Yes (Constitution of the Republic of Italy, article 13) 2007 2007
2007
Core pieces of national legislation
Law 46/2017 "Conversione in legge, con modificazioni, del decreto-legge 17 febbraio 2017, n. 13, recante disposizioni urgenti per l'accelerazione dei procedimenti in materia di protezione internazionale, nonche' per il contrasto dell'immigrazione illegale." (2017) 2017
2017
Law 47/2017 "Provisions on Protective Measures for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors" (2017) 2017
2017
Legislative Decree 142/2015 “Implementation of Directive 2013/33/EU on standards for the reception of asylum applicants and the Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for the recognition and revocation of the status of international protection.” (2015) 2015
2015
Legislative Decree no. 25/2008 on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status (2008) 2011
2008
Legislative Decree no. 129/2011 Urgent provisions for the full application of the Directive 2004/38/EC on the free movement of EU citizens and for the transposition of the Directive 2008/115/EC on returning illegally staying third-country nationals () 2011
The Consolidated Immigration Act (1998) 2018
1998
D.lgs n. 142/2015 “Attuazione della direttiva 2013/33/UE recante norme relative all’accoglienza dei richiedenti protezione internazionale, nonché della direttiva 2013/32/UE, recante procedure comuni ai fini del riconoscimento e della revoca dello status di protezione internazionale.” (2015) 2018
2015
D. Lgs n.25/2008 “Attuazione della direttiva 2005/85/CE recante norme minime per le procedure applicate negli Stati membri ai fini del riconoscimento e della revoca dello status di rifugiato” (2008) 2018
2008
Decreto legge 4 ottobre 2018, n.113, coordinato con la Legge di conversione 4 dicembre 2018, n.132. (2018) 2018
2018
Regulations, standards, guidelines
Regolamento Recante "Criteri per l'Organizzazione e la Gestione dei Centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione Previsti dall'Articolo 14 del Decreto Legislativo 25 Luglio 1998 n. 286 e successive modificazioni" ( Regulations on the "criteria for the organization and management of the centers for identification and expulsion" ) (2014)
2014
Roadmap Italiana (Italian Roadmap) (2015)
2015
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) applicable to Italian Hotspots (2015)
2015
Immigration-status-related grounds
Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border
2019
Detention to establish/verify identity and nationality
2019
Detention to prevent absconding
2019
Detention for failing to respect non-custodial measures
2019
Detention for failing to respect a voluntary removal order
2019
Detention during the asylum process
2019
Detention to effect removal
2019
Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations?
Yes (Yes)
2019
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration
Unauthorised stay (365)
2019
Unauthorized re-entry (1460)
2019
Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law.
180
2018
90
2017
540
2013
Maximum length of time in custody prior to issuance of a detention order
2
2017
Average length of detention
25.5
2015
150
2012
Maximum length of detention for asylum-seekers
365
2017
30
2012
Provision of basic procedural standards
Right to appeal the lawfulness of detention (Yes)
2017
Right to legal counsel (Yes)
2017
Information to detainees (Yes)
2017
Independent review of detention (Yes)
2017
Access to asylum procedures (Yes)
2017
Types of non-custodial measures
Supervised release and/or reporting (Yes) infrequently
2017
Registration (deposit of documents) (Yes) infrequently
2017
Designated non-secure housing (Yes) infrequently
2017
Electronic monitoring (No) No
2017
Release on bail (Yes) infrequently
2014
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Unaccompanied minors (Prohibited) Not available
2017
Asylum seekers (Provided) No
2017
Pregnant women (Prohibited) Not available
2017
Accompanied minors (Not mentioned) Not available
2017
Re-entry ban
Yes
2017
Additional legislation
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation.
Has the country decriminalized immigration-related violations?
Longest recorded instance of immigration detention.
Maximum length of detention for persons detained upon arrival at ports of entry
Impact of alternatives
Mandatory detention
Expedited/fast track removal

INTERNATIONAL LAW

International treaty reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
VC Article 36 1969
1969
2019
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1978
1978
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention 1976
1976
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 1985
1985
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 1989
1989
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2009
2009
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
5
2019
5
2019
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
Recommendation Year
16 2017
2017
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women §16. The Committee recommends, in line with its general recommendation No. 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women, that the State party: [...] (c) Provide adequate services to refugees and asylum seekers placed in administrative detention, in particular women with specific needs and vulnerabilities; (d) Ensure that immigration detention is applied only as a measure of last resort, after it has been determined, on a case-by-case basis, to be strictly necessary, proportionate, lawful and non-arbitrary, and is imposed for the shortest possible period; [...] 2017
2017
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women 16 2017
2017
Human Rights Committee 25 2017
2017
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination § 22: The Committee is concerned that, despite its previous recommendations, the precarious conditions in assistance, reception and identification centres have worsened with the arrival of migrants from North Africa, particularly in recent years. The Committee is concerned by the information according to which migrants are more likely to be arrested and often receive harsher sentences than Italians. This situation may also have been aggravated by Law No. 94/2009 which criminalized undocumented entry and stay in Italy, and Law No. 129/2011 which allows the detention of undocumented migrants for up to 18 months. […] The Committee recommends that the State party: a) take the necessary measures to ensure that conditions in centres for refugees and asylum-seekers meet international standards. 2012
2012
Committee against Torture § 9: The Committee is concerned at the detention policy applied to asylum-seekers and other non-citizens, including reports that they often face lengthy periods of detention in the Temporary Detention Centres (CPTs) and the “temporary stay and assistance centres” (CPTAs). In this respect, the Committee regrets the change in the legislative framework resulting from Law No. 189/2002 (the “Bossi-Fini law”) which permits the detention of undocumented migrants and doubles the detention period (from 30 to 60 days). (arts. 2, 11 and 16) The State party should take effective measures to ensure that detention of asylum seekers and other non-citizens is used only in exceptional circumstances or as a measure of last resort, and then only for the shortest possible time. The State party should also ensure that courts carry out a more effective judicial review of the detention of these groups. 2007
2007
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ECHR, Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights 1955
1955
ECHRP7, Protocol 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 1991
1991
ECHRP1, Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 1955
1955
ECPT, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment 1988
1988
CATHB, Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 2010
2010
Reception Directive 2005
2005
Procedures Directive 2008
2008
Return Directive 2011
2011
CPCSE, Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse 2013
2013
Regional treaty reservations
Reservation Year
ECHRP7 Article 2 1991
1991
ECHRP7 Article 3 1991
1991
Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) § 30: immediate steps to be taken at the Bologna CIE to ensure that foreign nationals are provided with board games and a television set and have more frequent access to the existing sports facilities; the Italian authorities to redouble their efforts to provide foreign nationals held at the Bologna CIE with a range of purposeful activities. The longer the period for which foreign nationals are detained, the more developed should be the activities which are offered to them; § 34: steps to be taken at the Bologna CIE and all other CIEs in Italy to ensure that, whenever injuries are recorded by a doctor which are consistent with allegations of ill-treatment made by a foreign national (or which, even in the absence of allegations, are indicative of illtreatment), the record is systematically brought to the attention of the relevant prosecutor, regardless of the wishes of the person concerned; § 37: steps to be taken to ensure that the confidentiality of medical data is fully respected at the Bologna CIE; § 39: as regards the isolation of immigration detainees for reasons of good order and security, a proper legal basis and clear procedures (including appropriate safeguards such as the keeping of a dedicated register) to be established at the Bologna CIE and, where appropriate, in other CIEs in Italy. 2013
2013
2019
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) § 129: ECRI again recommends that the Italian authorities detain asylum seekers only when absolutely necessary, for short periods of time, and following an examination of the circumstances of the individual case; § 130: ECRI recommends that the Italian authorities review reception conditions in CDAs and CARAs to ensure that they meet all the needs of their occupants, both medically and socially and in terms of legal assistance; § 145: ECRI recommends that the Italian authorities consider alterations to Identification and Expulsion Centres (CIEs) and the living conditions there and take all the necessary steps to ensure that they are suitable for periods of detention lasting up to 180 days; § 146: ECRI urges the Italian authorities to ensure that all persons held in CIEs have access to the medical care that they need; § 147: ECRI urges the Italian authorities to investigate all allegations of ill-treatment in these centres and punish those responsible. It again invites the authorities to increase transparency by facilitating access to these centres, including for organisations protecting the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers and for lawyers. 2012
2012
2019
Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission
Year in Force
Observation Date
Moldova 2004
2004
2017
Netherlands 2000
2000
2017
Nigeria 2011
2011
2017
India 2000
2000
2017
Mexico 2002
2002
2017
Philippines 2004
2004
2017
Romania 1998
1998
2017
Russian Federation 2011
2011
2017
Poland 2001
2001
2017
Slovakia 2002
2002
2017
Slovenia 1997
1997
2017
Switzerland 2000
2000
2017
Serbia 1998
1998
2017
Cyprus 2003
2003
2017
Sri Lanka 2001
2001
2017
Greece 2000
2000
2017
Hungary 1998
1998
2017
Spain 2001
2001
2017
Egypt 2000
2000
2017
Turkey 2001
2001
2017
Tunisia 1999
1999
2017
Uzbekistan 2001
2001
2017
Austria 1998
1998
2017
Albania 2008
2008
2017
Algeria 2006
2006
2017
Bulgaria 1998
1998
2017
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2004
2004
2017
Cyprus 2006
2006
2017
Czech Republic 1999