Access to the territory and push backs


Country Report: Access to the territory and push backs Last updated: 30/11/20


As of 31 October 2019, the border authorities refouled 8,279 foreign citizens considered not to be entitled to enter EU territory.[1]

The faster border procedure was also applied to people disembarked, considering them as people who avoided or tried to avoid the border controls.

Many Moroccans and Tunisians who disembarked in Italy were quickly repatriated. In October 2019 the 60% of Tunisians landed were returned.[2]

On 28 November 2019, the Court of Rome accepted the appeal lodged with the support of ASGI and Amnesty by 14 Eritrean citizens based in Israel, who were victims of a collective refoulement by Italian authorities to Libya in 2009. The Court recognized their right to access the asylum procedure in Italy and sentenced Italy to compensate the damage they suffered due to the illegal behaviour of the Italian authorities.[3]

The Court recognized the need to expand the scope of international protection to preserve the position of those who were prevented from submitting an application for international protection due to the fact that they could not access the territory of the State as a consequence of an unlawful act committed by the authority of the referring State, inhibiting the entry to the territory in the form of a collective refoulement, in violation of the Constitution and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.[4]

Moreover, on 10 October 2019, the Civil Court of Rome ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to instruct the Italian Embassy in Addis Abbeba to immediately issue a entry visa to Italy in favour of a minor, daughter of a woman refugee in Italy, for urgent humanitarian reasons under Article 25 of the Visa Code (Article 25, Regulation CE n. 810/09).[5]

Some months before, on 21 February 2019, the Civil Court of Rome ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italian Embassy at Tripoli, to issue a visa for humanitarian reasons for an unaccompanied Nigerian minor in Libya.[6]


Arrivals by sea


The total number of persons disembarked in Italy dropped from 119,369 in 2017 and 23,370 in 2018 to 11,471 in 2019, representing a 50% decrease compared to 2018 and an over 90% decrease compared to 2017.  

Since 2019 Italian coastguard has ambiguously started to classify most of the search and rescue operations as law enforcement operations.[7] Italian coastguard Data indicate that 4,289 people have reached Italy aboard the authorities' ships (coast guard, navy, finance guard) as a result of such operations while 999 persons appear to have been rescued at sea.

Under persistent media attention and certain political condemnation, 2,000 persons were rescued by NGOs while another 3,885 reached Italy autonomously.

European naval units (Eunavfor Med, Frontex) did not intervene in any operation.[8]

As in previous years, in 2019, the ports most affected by disembarkation were the ones in Sicily, as follows:

Sea arrivals 2019

Port- Region

Sea arrivals in 2019

Lampedusa – Sicily


Western Sicily


East Sicily








Source: Italian coastguard, quarterly reports


In 2019 the main nationality of people disembarked remained Tunisian (2,654), although Tunisia does not appear among the main countries of origin of asylum seekers.

The number of Ivorians disembarked is almost double the number of Ivorian asylum seekers in 2019. In 2019, as well as at the end of 2018, the Ivorians appeared among the main nationalities of people disembarked.

Moreover, although Algerians were among the main foreign citizens disembarked both in 2019 and 2018, this situation does not match with the list of the most common nationalities of asylum seekers in 2019, where Algerians are not present at all. This data probably reflect the actual obstacles that persons from these country face in accessing the asylum procedure (see Registration of the asylum application).

On the other hand, as regards nationals of Pakistan, the number of persons disembarked (1,180) was significantly lower than the number of those who applied for asylum (8,733). This is probably because many arrived via land from other European countries.

The “closure of ports”

Since June 2018, on many occasions the Italian Government has seriously delayed the disembarkation of potential asylum seekers rescued at sea in the context of the operations coordinated by the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) or by ships deployed as part of EU NAFVOR MED Operation Sophia or by naval units of the Italian State, without indicating a port of disembarkation or prohibiting the disembarkation of people following the berth in port. [9]

The Decree Law n. 53, issued on 14 June 2019 and later converted by Law 77/2019, tried to give a legal basis to the Minister of the Interior bans on entry, transit or stop to ships engaged in rescue at sea, further discouraging the saving of lives at sea.[10]

Article 1 of Legislative Decree 53/2019 empowers the Ministry of Interior, in agreement with the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Transport, to order such prohibitions for reasons of security and public order or in the cases referred to in Article 19 (2 g) of the Montego Bay Convention (UNCLOS), according to which, a passage of a ship is not considered innocent in case of – in particular- loading or unloading of persons contrary to the immigration or sanitary laws of the coastal state.[11] In case of violation, the law provides for an administrative penalty to be imposed by Prefects to the ship's captain consisting in the payment of a sum between € 150,000 to € 1,000,000. The law also states that it is always ordered the confiscation of the ship used to commit the violation.[12]

As highlighted by ASGI,[13] the provision gives the Ministry of Interior a new power of intervention that goes beyond the control of borders, for which it was already responsible, affecting directly the search and rescue activity at sea. As the entry or stop of a ship operating to rescue shipwrecked people at sea in fulfilment of a specific duty of its captain (i.e. according to UNCLOS, SOLAS, SAR Conventions) is undoubtedly not an offensive conduct and therefore, it cannot be inhibited, the new law provisions appear purely aimed at discouraging rescue at sea.

However, immediately after the entry into force of the decree, the Minister of Interior made extensive use of these powers.

On 29 June 2019, the Sea-Watch 3 ship led by the captain Carola Rackete, after two weeks in international waters with 50 rescued migrants on board, decided to enter the port of Lampedusa despite the absence of authorization from the Italian authorities. [14] The ECtHR had refused, on 25 June 2019, the request for interim measures made by the Captain and other forty individuals on board pursuant to Rule 39 of Rules of the Court. The Court decided not to indicate an interim measure requiring authorisation for the applicants to be disembarked in Italy.[15] Once the migrants landed, Sea Watch captain (Carola Rackete) was arrested on charges of violence and warship resistance as the ship trapped a patrol vessel of the Italian financial guard against the quay, while entering Lampedusa. The Criminal judge of Agrigento decided to release her, considering her behaviour justified by her duty to save the people on board the ship and excluding that the boat of the finance guard could be considered a warship.[16]  The judge responsible for the decision later became the target of insults and threats. The Minister of Interior defined the sentence via social media as a "political judgment" and invited the judge, who he called "leftist", to take off her robe and stand for election to the Democratic Party.[17] In January 2020 the Court of Cassation confirmed the legitimacy of the decision not to validate the arrest.[18] Through this decision the Court of Cassation also affirmed that the refusal to authorize the landing of the migrants rescued by Sea Watch 3 was illegitimate, as it is contrary to the provisions of international law on rescues at sea.[19]

By the end of July 2019 the then Minister of the Interior forbade the landing of the people rescued by the Gregoretti Italian Coast Guard ship. Only after six days, on 31 July 2019, the 116 people were disembarked and transferred to the Pozzallo hotspot before being redistributed between France, Germany, Portugal, Luxembourg and Ireland. 50 people remained in Italy in charge of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI). For this matter, in February 2020, after the authorization by the Senate, Matteo Salvini, then Minister of the Interior, is being investigated for kidnapping.

On 14 August 2019 the Administrative Court of Lazio accepted the request for interim measure submitted by the Open Arms ship and suspended the measure taken by the Ministry of Interior pursuant to DL 53/2019 not to allow the ship to enter into Italian territorial waters. The Court considered it urgent to provide immediate assistance to the rescued people.[20] Only a week after the decision, and 19 days spent on the ship, the rescued people were able to disembark.[21] In this case as well, the Court of Ministers asked in February 2020, for authorization to proceed against the former Minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini, for kidnapping.[22]

After the fall of the Government in late August 2019, the policy of closed ports has changed but it has not been definitively abandoned. The informal redistribution policy of the migrants has often caused long waits in the open sea before a place of safety was indicated, being subject to case-by-case agreements between EU member states. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy, on 7 April 2020 Italy issued a ministerial decree Italy in which it declared its ports unsafe[23]. However it is necessary to reiterate that this does not negate Italy's international and internal obligations on potential asylum seekers’ protection and search and rescue at sea.[24]

In October 2019, Italy long refused to indicate itself as a place of safety for the SOS Mediterranee ship,  Ocean Viking, denying its competence to intervene as the rescue had taken place in the Libyan SAR area.[25] After 11 days, Member States finally agreed on the relocation of the migrants on board and Italy authorised to disembark the rescued people in Pozzallo.[26]

However, on 29 December 2019, 32 migrants rescued three days before at sea by the Sea Eye ship, Alan Kurdi, were authorised to disembark in Pozzallo.

In parallel, in September 2019, two officers of the Italian coastguard and of the navy were indicted before the Court of Rome for the delay and failure of the rescue in the shipwreck occurred on the 11  October 2013, when over 250 died at sea.[27]

Refoulement to Libya

In February 2020, despite the opposition of numerous associations including ASGI[28], and the call of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights,[29] the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya, also judged by a Criminal Court to be not conform to the Italian Constitution and to international laws[30], has been renewed.[31]

According to the new agreement,[32] Italy undertakes to continue to financially support, with training courses and equipment, the Libyan coast guard of the Ministry of Defence, for search and rescue activities at sea and in the desert, and for the prevention and fight against irregular immigration.

For the two-year period 2020-2021, the Ministry of Interior has foreseen an additional 1.2 million euros in supplies.[33]

Based on the previous agreement, since 2017 Italy has in these years equipped Libya with naval units, supplied and financed the rehabilitation of several patrol boats and ensured the presence in Tripoli of an Italian naval unit (Nave Tremiti, Nave Capri, and then Nave Caprera[34]) to provide to Libya technical assistance and training.[35] Nave Capri and Caprera also coordinated Libyan naval units in the tracking of boats at sea.[36]

The resulting effects of Italy's indirect pushbacks to Libya and the consequences on people suffering inhuman and cruel treatments are now being examined by the European Court of Human Rights in the case S.S. and others v. Italy concerning a rescue operation of the Sea Watch ship hindered in November 2017 by the Libyan coastguard through a patrol boat donated by Italy and with the coordination of the Italian MRCC.[37]

In 2019, at least 8,406 people were tracked down by the Libyan coastguard and brought back to Libya.[38]

Moreover, as highlighted by the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) on 18 December 2019, through a a complaint filed against Italy with the UN Human Rights Committee, Italy appears to play a key role in the privatised pushbacks policy which would consist in engaging commercial ships to return refugees and other persons in need of protection to unsafe locations. [39] The complaint concerns the case of an individual refouled to Libya together with 92 migrants after being intercepted in the high seas by a Panamanian merchant vessel, the Nivin, in November 2018.  The legal submission is based on the Forensic Oceanography report, which shows how the operation was fully coordinated by the MRCC of Rome.[40]

Between June 2018 and June 2019, the Forensic Oceanography recorded a total of 13 privatized pushback attempts in the so-called EU and Italy’s system of refoulement by proxy. Except for two that failed as a result of migrants’ resistance, at least 11 of these 13 privatized pushbacks were successful–with three of these diverted to Tunisia. According to the report the outcome of these operations has been exacerbated by the closed-ports policy in Italy, which prevents ships that carried out rescue operations entering Italy’s waters to disembark rescuees.[41]

Meanwhile, criminal courts have ascertained and condemned the dire conditions faced by migrants in Libya. In May 2019, the Criminal Court of Trapani acquitted two migrants rescued at sea by Vos Thalassa ship in 2018 who had rebelled aboard the ship, once they realized that the ship was bringing them back to Libya, threatening the captain and the crew. Relevantly the judge recognized they acted in self-defence as the act of bringing them back to Libya would have been a crime.[42]

Furthermore, the Court of Assizes of Agrigento ascertained the atrocious conditions of the Libyan detention camps, condemning a human trafficker for enslavement in the Sabratha camp[43] and, in another case, three other persons for torture in the Sabratha “White House” for sexual violence, kidnapping and human trafficking.[44]

Pushbacks at Adriatic ports

As menitored by ASGI, No Name Kitchen, Ambasciata dei Diritti di Ancona and Associazione SOS Diritti, refoulements continue to be carried out from Italy to Greece at Adriatic maritime borders. Access to the asylum procedure and to asylum information is very poor and transfers or re-admissions are being immediately executed to send foreign nationals back to Greece. 

Through numerous F.O.I.A. requests sent to public administrations, the cited NGOs came to know about:

  • 10 refoulements at Venice water border crossing points (January 2018 – February 2019);
  • 56 refoulements at Ancona maritime border (from January 2018 to the end of July 2019);
  • 654 refoulements at the port of Bari in 2018, and other 181 from January 2019 to the end of February 2019;
  • 340 refoulements at Brindisi port, during 2018.

Through another F.O.I.A request sent to public administration by Altreconomia for the period 1 January 2019 – 30 September 2019, it is known that authorities operated 195 readmissions to Greece. Of these:

  • 51 from Venice
  • 75 from Ancona
  • 34 from Bari
  • 35 from Brindisi

Early 2020, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe rejected the request made by the Italian Government to close the supervision processes initiated following the Sharifi ruling.[45]


Arrivals by air


In the visits carried out in January and February 2019 at the border crossings of the Rome Fiumicino Airport and Milan Malpensa, the Guarantor for the rights of detained persons found that in 2018, 2,415 people had been refouled from Rome Fiumicino airport,[46] and 2,111 from Malpensa Airport.[47]

Some of these persons had been de facto detained at border crossings for more than three days and up to eight days (see Detention, transit zones).[48]

As reported by ASGI within the In Limine Project in May 2019, access to information within the Malpensa transit zone, including in relation to the asylum procedure, is very poor. According to a testimony collected by ASGI, the border police of Malpensa did not allow access to the asylum procedure to a foreign woman who had expressed her will to seek asylum also through her lawyer.[49]

The project also monitored other cases of obstacles to access the asylum procedure at Malpensa airport: an Iranian woman and three Kurdish Turks were allowed to access the asylum procedure only following the intervention of the lawyer who by means of certified e-mail, represented their will to seek asylum. In this way it was possible to avoid the execution of the refoulement.

Between January and May 2019 the total number of asylum applications lodged at the Milan airport and Rome Fiumicino was somewhat contained, respectively 56 in Rome and 85 in Milan. Similarly, from 1 June 2019 to 21 January 2020, 79 persons seeked asylum at the Rome Fiumicino airport and 166 at the transit area of Malpensa airport.[50]

According to the data obtained by Altreconomia with a civic access request, from January 1 to September 30, 2019, 1,752 people were returned by Malpensa airport. Among them, 49 Nigerians, 56 Ukrainians, 16 Iranians. From Rome Fiumicino airport, in the same period, 1,435 people were returned, including 24 Iranians, 17 Turks, 17 Libyans, 168 Ukrainians. 651 people were returned from Orio al Serio airport, including 170 Ukrainians, 3 Turks, 3 Pakistanis, 2 Afghans and 2 Syrians.[51]


Arrivals at the Slovenian land border


There were about 7,000 arrivals in Italy in Friuli Venezia Giulia at the Slovenian land border.

In 2019, just as in 2018, [52] there have been cases of re-admissions to Slovenia from Trieste and Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, without any formal procedure or decision.

Heard in Parliament on 7 November 2019, the Ministry of Interior mentioned agreements among the Italian authorities and the Croatian and Slovenian authorities for an intensification of the controls, aimed at tracing irregular migrants, also through joint patrol services. According to the Minister, from the beginning of 2019 to 7 November 2019, this agreement made it possible to trace 3,537 migrants entering Italy from Slovenia.[53]

In June 2019, the Department of Public Security of the Italian Ministry of Interior and the General Directorate of Police of the Slovenian Ministry of Interior signed a protocol on the implementation of mixed patrol at the Italian Slovenian border. According to the protocol, mixed groups composed of two Italian agents and two Slovenian agents operated in Trieste and Gorizia, on the Italian side, and in Koper and Nova Goriza on the Slovenian side.[54] The main purpose, as stated in the agreement, was to monitor the phenomenon of illegal immigration. Patrols were scheduled 4 times a week, three of which in Slovenia and one in Italy. The agreement involved the period between June and September 2019 with possible further renewal.

As reported by media, on 5 July 2019 about 16 persons traced to the Gorizia border were immediately readmitted to Slovenia according to the bilateral agreement between Italy and Slovenia.[55]

Replying to a data access request from ASGI, the Border Police Office informed that, from 31 July 2018 to 31 July 2019, 361 persons, most of which coming from Pakistan and Afghanistan, were re-admitted to Slovenia from Gorizia and Trieste land border, in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

On 14 January 2020, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region announced its intention to purchase camera traps to be placed on the paths near the eastern borders to identify the transit of irregular migrants in real time.[56] According to what the regional councillor for security declared, these optical detection systems would transmit the data collected to the regional administration and law enforcement, thus allowing to increase the number of readmissions, in particular to Slovenia.[57]

In mid-May 2020, the Minister of Interior announced an increase in readmissions to be made to the eastern border, as agreed with Slovenia, and the sending of 40 agents to the same border.[58]

On 23 May 2020 a Slovenian newspaper „Primorski Dnevnik“ reported the testimony of an Italian couple blocked on the border with Trieste by paramilitary Slovenian agents who forced them to kneel with rifles pointed at their heads declaring that they were looking for migrants.[59]


The situation at the French, Swiss and Austrian land borders


Many migrants attempting to cross the borders with France, Austria and Switzerland have been subject to rejection at the border, often with the use of violence. According to a February 2018 report by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), more than twenty people had died in the last two years in the attempt to cross these borders.[60] A detailed account of the situation at the borders in previous years is available in the previous updates of the AIDA report.[61]

In response to a freedom of information request by Altreconomia concerning readmissions, the Ministry of Interior stated that from 1 January to 30 September 2019, 231 persons have been readmitted to France of which 40 from the border of Aosta, 178 from the border of Ventimiglia, Liguria, and 13 from the border of Bardonecchia, Piedmont. In the same period, 238 were readmitted in Italy from France, of which 11 to Aosta, 178 to Ventimiglia and 13 to Bardonecchia.

161 persons were readmitted to Switzerland, of which: 10 from Aosta border, 143 from Domodossola, Piedmont, and 8 from Como (Lombardy) while, in the same period, 2,025 persons have been readmitted in Italy from Switzerland, of which 34 to Aosta, 543 to Domodossola, and 1,448 to Como;

49 persons have been readmitted to Austria, of which 35 from Brennero, trentino Alto Adige, and 14 from Tarvisio, Friuli Venezia Giulia. For the same period, 93 persons have been readmitted from Austria to Italy, of which 63 from Brennero (and San Candido), and 30 from Tarvisio.

In March 2019, after strong tensions between Italy and France, the head of the Italian police and that of the French police signed a cooperation agreement to agree on the movement of migrants to the border. [62]

Transfers from border regions to the southern regions such as Apulia and Calabria have continued to take place in 2019 (see Taranto hotspot).

Following an information request by ASGI on 23 August 2018, the Questura of Imperia, Liguria stated that there 1,059 persons had been transferred from the border of Ventimiglia to the Crotone, Calabria and Taranto, Apulia until August 2018. According to the Questura, transfers are carried out by the transport company Riviera and are arranged by simple emails containing the date and time of transfer. Until the end of August 2018, transfers took place five times a month on average.

In addition, throughout 2018, as reported by the Children’s Ombudsman (Garante per l’Infanzia e l’Adolescenza) voluntary return of unaccompanied children from France, Switzerland and Austria to Italy had gradually intensified.[63] Most of them are voluntarily returning to Italy, the EU country of first entry, as their attempts to migrate to the Northern European countries have been unsuccessful.

[1] Ministry of Interior, hearing at Parliament, 7 November 2019, available in Italian at:

[2]Ministry of Interior, hearing at Parliament, 7 November 2019, available in Italian at:; see also: Guarantor for the rights of detained persons, Report on visits to places used by police at some border crossings (January – February 2019), published on 27 June 2019:  in the visit conducted on 15 January 2019 at the port of Civitavecchia, the Guarantor for the rights of detained persons found that, in 2018, 18 people, mostly Tunisian, had been refouled because they had no documents or false documents. These people were entrusted to the shipping company with which they travelled and, while waiting for the ship to sail again, they remained on board the boat,  available in Italian at:, p. 13

[3] ASGI, Riconosciuto il diritto di entrare in Italia a chi è statao respinto illegittimamente in Libia, 3 December 2019, available in Italian at:; Amnesty, Importantissima sentenza del Tribunale civile di Roma, 2 December 2019, available in Italian at:

[4] Civil Court of Rome, decision 22917 of 28 November 2019, available in Italian at:; For information in English see also: EDAL, Italy: Recognition of the right to enter as compensation for illegitimate collective expulsions to Libya by the Italian Coast Guard in 2009, 28 November 2019, available at:

[5] Civil Court of Rome, decision of 10 October 2019, confirmed by decision of 4 November 2019.

[6] Civil Court of Rome, decision of 21 February 2019, available in English at:; see also ASGI note, 16 may 2019, available in English at: See also: EDAL, Italy: Humanitarian visa issued for vulnerable unaccompanied child in Libya, 21 February 2019, available at:

[7] See: Altreconomia, Se i naufraghi nel Mediterraneo diventano “persone intercettate in operazioni di polizia”. Le ricadute sui soccorsi, 8 October 2019, available in Italian at:

[8] Italian coastguard, data available at:

[9] See AIDA 2018 for the Diciotti, Sea Watch, Aquarius, Sarost 5 and Mre Jonio cases.

[10] DL 53/2019 converted  by L 77/2019.

[11] Article 1 DL 53/2019, amending Article 11 TUI by the introduction of the paragraph 1 ter. According to the Article 19(2) lett.g) Montego Bay Convention “a passage of a foreign ship shall be considered to be prejudicial to the peace, order or security of the coastal State if in the territorial sea it engages in any of the following activities: (..)

g) the loading or unloading of any commodity, currency or person contrary to the customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations of the coastal State).

[12] Article 2 Decree Law 53/2019 amending Article 12 TUI introducing paragraphs 6 bis, 6 ter, 6 quater

[13] ASGI, Decreto sicurezza bis: l’analisi dell’ASGI, 13 September 2019, available in Italian at:

[14] BBC, Carola Rackete: How a ship captain took on Italy's Salvini, 6 July 2019, available at :

[15] ECtHR, Rackete and Others v. Italy – request for interim measure refused in the case of Sea Watch 3, 25 June 2019, available at:

[16] See Caso Sea Watch 3, la “scandalosa” ordinanza di rigetto del gip di Agrigento, available in Italian at; see also: EDAL, Italy: Preliminary Judge of the Court of Agrigento clears Sea Watch 3 Captain of Charges, 30 June 2019, available at:

[17] Il Messaggero, Carola lascia Agrigento, Salvini attacca il giudice: «Una vergogna, tolga la toga». Bonafede la difende, 3 July 2019, available in Italian at:

[18] Court of Cassation, Decision 6626 of 20 February 2020, available in Italian at:

[19]  For a comment to the decision see ASGI, “La Cassazione sul caso Rackete: la strategia dei porti chiusi è contraria alla disciplina dei soccorsi in mareLuca Masera”, 26 February 2020, available in Italian at:

[20] See ASGI, Open Arms, Tar Lazio sospende divieto d’ingresso, 15 August 2019, available in Italian at:

[21] See also: Altreconomia, Il dovere di soccorso e i migranti non-persone. Che cosa resta della stagione dei “porti chiusi”, 21 August 2019, available in Italian at:

[22] Repubblica, Caso Open Arms, nuova richiesta di autorizzazione a procedere contro Salvini per sequestro di persona. "Il soccorso in mare è obbligatorio" 1 February 2020, available in Italian at:

[23] Decree 7 April 2020, available in Italian at:

[24] See ASGI, ASGI chiede l'immediata revoca del decreto interministeriale del 7 aprile 2020. L’Italia è sempre vincolata all’obbligo di fornire un porto sicuro alle persone salvate in mare, 15 April 2020, available in Italian at:

[25] Repubblica, Migranti, Ocean Viking in mare da 10 giorni. L'appello della Ong: "Ue ci assegni un porto sicuro", 28 October 2019, available in Italian at:

[26] Repubblica, 29 October 2019, Migranti Migranti, il Viminale: "Ocean Viking sbarca a Pozzallo", available in Italian at:

[27] Ansa, Naufragio bambini, due ufficiali a giudizio, 16 September 2019, available in Italian at:; see also: Alarmphone, Left-to-Die Trial in Rome, 2 December 2019, available at:; ECRE, Italy: Officials of the Italian Coast Guard Prosecuted for Shipwreck in 2013, 20 September 2019, available at:

[28]  ASGI; Memorandum Italia-Libia, lettera aperta del Tavolo Asilo alle istituzioni italiane: non rinnovatelo, 30 october 2019, available in Italian at:

[29] On 31 January 2020, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, called on the Italian government to urgently suspend the ongoing cooperation activities with the Libyan Coast Guard which affect the repatriation of people intercepted at sea in Libya where they have suffered serious human rights violations, see: ASGI, Il governo italiano deve sospendere ogni cooperazione con la Guardia Costiera libica, 31 January 2020, available in Italian at:

[30] Criminal Court of Trapani, sentence of 23 May 2019, available in Italian at:; According to article 80 of the Italian Constitution, political agreements can be signed only with Parliament's authorization. Furthermore, it is an agreement concluded with a party, the Libyan coastguard, repeatedly referred to as responsible for crimes against humanity. Therefore, the court found that the agreement violates the principle of non-refoulement.

[31] Avvenire, 12 February 2020, Esclusiva. Memorandum Italia-Libia, la bozza integrale: la partita dei fondi a Tripoli, available in Italian at:

[32] A copy of the agreement is published in Italian at: 

[33] Altreconomia, L’Italia continua ad equipaggiare la Libia per respingere i migranti, il caso delle motovedette ricondotte a Tripoli, 2 March 2020, available in Italian at:

[34]Analisi difesa, nave Caprera ha sostituito la Capri nel porto di Tripoli, 4 April 2018, available in Italian at:

[35] ASGI, ASGI chiede l’immediato annullamento del Memorandum con la Libia, 2 February 2020, available in Italian at:

[36] Altreconomia, Il grande inganno della Libia sicura e le tappe della regia italiana dei respingimenti delegati, 18 April 2019, available in Italian at:

[37]ECtHR, Application No. 21660/18 , S.S. and others v. Italy, available at:; the Third party intervention by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights is available at :

[38] Altreconomia, citing data from Italian coast guard, 2 March 2020, available in Italian at:

[39] Communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committe In the case of SDG against Italy, available at :

[40] See also: Repubblica, Migranti, un report accusa l'Italia: "Respingimento illegale dei 93 salvati dal mercantile Nivin e riportati in Libia con la forza", 18 December 2019, available in Italian at:

[41] Forensic Oceanography Nivin report, affiliated to the Forensic Architecture agency, Goldsmiths,
University of London, December 2019, available at:

[42] Criminal Court of Trapani, cited above. See: Diritto penale contemporaneo, La legittima difesa dei migranti e l’illegittimità dei respingimenti verso la Libia (caso Vos-Thalassa), Luca Masera, 24 June 2019, available in Italian  at:; see also: EDAL, Italy – Tribunal of Trapani – Office of the Judge for Preliminary Investigations (Piero Grillo), available at:

[43] Court of Assizes of Agrigento, ruling 1 of 2018 published on 22 June 2019, see :ASGI, Riduzione di schiavitù in Libia confermata dalla Corte d’Assise di Agrigento, available in Italian at:

[44] Repubblica, Agrigento, Condannati a 26 anni due torturatori di migranti sono i carcerirei della prigione libica di Sabratha, 15 November 2019, available in Italian at:

[45] See: Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Communication from a NGO (Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione) (21 January 2020) in the case of SHARIFI AND OTHERS v. Italy and Greece (Application No. 16643/09), available at:; ASGI, Respingimenti: l’Italia ancora sotto indagine per il caso Sharifi, 8 April 2020, available in Italian at:

[46] The main nationalities were, in descending order: Albania, Moldova, Brazil, Georgia Ukraine, Egypt, Morocco, China, Algeria, India; Guarantor for the rights of detained persons, Rapporto sulle visite ai locali in uso alle forze di polizia presso alcuni valichi di frontiera (gennaio – febbraio 2019), 27 juni 2019, available in Italian at:

[47] In descending order the declared nationalities were: Albania, Georgia, China, Brazil, Egypt Moldova, Senegal, Guarantor for the rights of detained persons, Rapporto sulle visite ai locali in uso alle forze di polizia presso alcuni valichi di frontiera (gennaio – febbraio 2019), 27 juni 2019, available in Italian at:

[48] Guarantor for the rights of detained persons, Rapporto sulle visite ai locali in uso alle forze di polizia presso alcuni valichi di frontiera (gennaio – febbraio 2019), 27 juni 2019, available in Italian at:

[49] See ASGI, Il valico di frontiera aeroportuale di Malpensa. La privazione della libertà dei cittadini stranieri in attesa di respingimento immediato, May 2019, available in Italian at:

[50] Data obtained by ASGI from the Ministry of Interior through a F.O.I.A. request.  See ASGI, In Limine report, Ombre in frontiera, March 2020, available in Italian at:

[51] Data access request sent from Altreconomia to the Ministry of Interior for the period 1 January 2019 – 30 September 2019.

For 2018 see: La Stampa, ‘Il caso dei migranti riportati in Slovenia. La polizia: “Agiamo seguendo le regole”’, 3 November 2018, available in Italian at:

[53]  Hearing at Parliament of Luciana Lamorgese, Ministry of Interior, 7 November 2019, available in Italian at:

[54] Ansa, Migranti via a pattugliamenti misti Italia Slovenia, 1 July 2019, available in Italian at:

[55]  Il Friuli, Fermati dopo aver varcato il confine, 16 clandestini riportati in Slovenia, 6 July 2019, available in Italian at:

[56]    Il Gazzettino, Migranti. Fototrappole per animali sul Carso per "catturare" i migranti irregolari, 14 January 2020, available in Italian at:

[57]  Avvenire, Rotta balcanica. Migranti come lupi e orsi. Trieste vuole le fototrappole, 15 January 2020, available in Italian at: 

[58] Triesteprima, Rotta balcanica, Serracchiani: "In arrivo da Roma 40 poliziotti a Trieste", 14 May 2020, available in Italian at:; see also. Il Piccolo, Nuovi arrivi dalla rotta balcanica. Roma invia 40 agenti al confine, 15 May 2020, available in Italian at:

[59] Triesteprima, "Stoj" e fucile puntato contro: la gita in bosco si trasforma in un incubo„Intimano l'alt e gli puntano il fucile contro: la gita in bosco si trasforma in un incubo“, 23 May 2020, available in Italian at:; see also, Primorski Dnevnik, »Stoj, sit down« … nato mu je z avtomatsko puško meril v glavo, 23 May 2020, available in Slovenian at:

[60] MSF, Fuori campo, February 2018, available at:, 2.

[61] AIDA, Country Report Italy, 2017 Update, March 2018, available at:, 22-24.

[62] Il Sole 24 Ore, Migranti ai confini trasferiti solo d’intesa tra Francia e Italia, 19 March 2019, available in Italian at:

[63]Children’s Ombudsman, I movimenti dei minori stranieri non accompagnati alle frontiere settentrionali, 29 March 2019, 20.


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation