Country Report: Overview of the main changes since the previous report update Last updated: 30/11/20
The previous report update was published in April2019.
- Access to the territory: Closed ports policy, indirect refoulement to Libya and privatised pushbacks policy were reported in 2019. Nevertheless, the Civil Court of Rome allowed access to the asylum procedure from abroad to some Eritreans who were unlawfully returned to Libya in 2009. In two other cases, it ordered to issue Humanitarian Visas to allow the entry of minors, one of whom was in Libya.
- Border procedure: The Ministerial decree of 5 August 2019 and published on 7 September 2019 identified the border and transit areas where the accelerated procedure for the examination of asylum applications applies in case of an attempt to or a border controls’ circumvention. It appears that some of these areas do not correspond to the external borders of the European Union (EU). The first applications of the decree have already indicated a controversial application of the concept of “border controls’ evasion”.
- List of safe countries of origin: The list of safe countries of origin adopted through a decree of the Minister of Foreign Affairs was published on 4 October 2019. The list includes 13 countries without exceptions regarding areas or categories of persons. The decree does not indicate the reasons for the inclusion of such countries in the list.
- Manefiestly unfounded decisions: A disproportionate and incorrect use of the manifestly unfounded decision in asylum applications examined with accelerated procedures compromised the rights of defence and protection of asylum seekers.
- Reception system: As expected, the tender specification schemes adopted by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) led to a progressive closure of small accommodation centres and the gross involvement of large profit organisations in the reception system. The Circular of 4 February 2020 issued by the new MoI only allowed Prefectures to adjust auction bases for the location and surveillance costs but without an improvement of the poor quality of the services offered in the asylum seekers’ reception centres. Despite the decrease in arrivals, most of the reception facilities are still emergency centres.
- Reception capacity: At the end of 2019, the number of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in the reception system was 67,036 distributed among 10 governmental reception centres and hotspots, and 6,004 CAS. Compared to 2018, the number of CAS decreased by 33% but the changes imposed by the tender specifications led to the closure of many small CAS centres and the distribution of migrants in large CAS with limited or no services.
- Guidelines on reception: Through a Decree of 18 November 2019, the MoI issued new Guidelines on the System of protection for asylum seekers and refugees (SPRAR) and the System of protection for beneficiaries of international protection and unaccompanied minors (SIPROIMI), including new services for unaccompanied minors.
- Civil registration: The changes introduced by the legislative Decree 113/2018, in particular the denial of the civil registration, made it extremely difficult to access territorial services for asylum seekers. However, many courts found the exclusion of asylum seekers from residence registration unlawful.
Detention of asylum seekers
- De facto detention: Prefectures did not establish dedicated detention facilities for identification purpose. De facto detention of asylum seekers continued to be reported in hotspots.
Content of international protection
- Guidelines on reception of beneficiaries of international protection (BIPs): New guidelines for the accommodation of BIPs were issued through the MoI’s Decree of 18 November 2019. The Decree provides very stringent hypotheses in which BIPs may be accommodated longer than six months after having been granted international portection. From January to the end of 2019, the capacity in SIPROIMI decreased from 35,650 to 31,284 places.