Country Report: General Last updated: 03/06/21


The Reception Decree prohibits the detention of asylum seekers for the sole purpose of examining their asylum application.[1] However, the new provisions introduced by Decree Law 113/2018, implemented by L 132/2018, create the risk of automatic violation of this principle since they foresee detention in suitable facilities set up in hotspots, first reception centres or subsequently in pre-removal centres (Centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio, CPR) for the purpose of establishing identity or nationality.[2]

The Decree Law 130/2020, converted by L. 173/2020, modified this provision only with respect to the terms of the detention – 30 days to which 90 days can be added and a further 30 in some cases, compared to the previous 30 days plus 6 months – but it did not change the grounds for the detention.[3]

According to what was reported by the Director of the Immigration Department, Bontempi, on an abstract capacity of 1,274 places, in November 2020, there was an effective capacity available of 485 due to the need to prevent the spread of covid-19 and to guarantee social distancing.[4]

As of December 2019, as reported from the Guarantor for the rights of detained persons, 6,172 people had been detained in CPRs, out of which 2,992 actually returned.[5]

As of 15 April 2020, 1,153 people have been detained in CPRs, out of which 378 actually returned.[6]

At the end of November 2020 the persons detained were 450.[7]

The number of CPR has increased from five in 2017 to ten in 2020: Restinco in Brindisi, Bari, Caltanissetta, Ponte Galeria in Rome; Turin, Palazzo San Gervasio in Potenza, Trapani, Gradisca d’Isonzo in Gorizia, Macomer, Nuoro (in Sardinia), Corelli in Milan.

The number of persons entering the hotspots in 2020 is not available at the time of writing.

As of 15 April 2020, 2,840 persons entered in hotspots.[8] Persons applying for asylum in CPR are subject to the Accelerated Procedure.



[1]  Article 6(1) Reception Decree.

[2]  Article 6(3-bis) Reception Decree, inserted by Article 3 Decree Law 113/2018 and L 132/2018.

[3]  Article 6 (3-bis) Reception Decree, as amended by DL 130/2020 and L. 173/2020

[4] Data at 25 November 2020, hearing at Parliament of Bontempi, MoI Director of Immigration and Border Police

[5]  Ibidem

[6]  Ibidem, p. 205

[7]  National Guarantor for the rights of detained persons, update of 28 October 2020, The Viewpoint no. 1, available in English at:

[8]  Guarantor for the rights of detained persons, Report to Parliament, March 2020, Tab. 2.20 p. 205.

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