Migrant arrivals at sea in Italy up 149%
The arrivals of migrants on the Italian coasts increased considerably between mid-2019 and mid-2020. There have been fewer rescues at sea during this period, but autonomous arrivals of small boats and rubber dinghies have increased massively, according to new figures from Italy’s Interior Ministry.
Arrivals to Italy’s coasts have increased significantly over the past year, according to statistics released by the Italian Interior Ministry on August 15.
A total of 21,618 migrants arrived between August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020 – compared to 8,691 the previous year, between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019. The increase represents a 148.7% increase in arrivals.
The figures were released at a press conference held by Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese on Saturday.
A total of 2,886 unaccompanied minors arrived on the Italian coast, an increase of 157.9%. The majority of them (16,347) arrived by autonomous landings. (When migrants arrive on the Italian coast without the help of state authorities or migrant rescue NGOs, this is called autonomous landing.)
A total of 5,271 migrants were rescued in Italy’s search and rescue (SAR) area, of which 4,066 were rescued by NGO ships.
The majority of migrants left Tunisia (8,984) and Libya (8,746). The largest national groups were citizens of Tunisia (34.3%) and Bangladesh (11.9%).
The coronavirus has slowed down repatriations
Between mid-2019 and mid-2020, a total of 622 asylum seekers were transferred from Italy to other European countries, an increase of 167% from the previous year. France and Germany were the main destination countries.
Repatriations, on the other hand, are down, with a total of 4,408, a decrease of 35.8% compared to the previous year. The Home Office said that figure was influenced by the partial suspension of repatriation procedures from Jan.31 to May 31, 2020, due to the COVID-19 emergency. During this period, only 592 people were expelled from Italy.
More than 4 million foreigners legally in Italy
As of July 31, 2020, 86,330 foreigners were received by the migrant reception system in Italy, a decrease of 17% compared to July 31, 2019.
A total of 949 people were accommodated in hot spots, 61,972 in reception centers and 23,409 in the Siproimi system for holders of international protection and unaccompanied minors.
The number of asylum applications reviewed has dropped significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic. Between mid-2019 and mid-2020, 71,695 requests were processed. The previous year, that number was 121,064.
Refugee status was only granted to 11.6% of applicants and 53.2% of applications were rejected.
Globally, the number of foreigners legally present in Italy is now 4,016,129. This is a drop of 4.2% compared to a year earlier, the interior ministry said.
Tunisia in crisis, many are heading to Italy
“The immigration figures are not extremely high, although they are certainly higher than last year,” Lamorgese said. “However, we must always put them in their context. We currently have Tunisia in a serious economic and social crisis, and we have therefore seen whole families leave, in the hope of finding better living conditions on Italian territory. . “
To deal with the emergency, the Minister of the Interior must visit Tunisia with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio and the European Commissioners Oliver Varhelyi and Ylva Johansson, who, she said, will accompany him to “show the solidarity of Europe” and face the problem of the small boat landing.