Access to reception centres by third parties


Country Report: Access to reception centres by third parties Last updated: 20/05/22


According to the Reception Decree, applicants have the opportunity to communicate with UNHCR, NGOs with experience in the field of asylum, religious entities, lawyers and family members.[1] The representatives of the aforementioned bodies are allowed to enter in these centres, except for security reasons and for the protection of the structures and of the asylum seekers.[2] The Prefect establishes rules on modalities and the time scheduled for visits by UNHCR, lawyers, NGOs as well as the asylum seekers’ family members and Italian citizens who must be authorised by the competent Prefecture on the basis of a previous request made by the asylum applicant living in the centre. The Prefecture notifies these decisions to the managers of the centres.

Article 15(5) of the Reception Decree, provides that lawyers and legal counsellors indicated by the applicant, UNHCR as well as other entities and NGOs working in the field of asylum and refugee protection, have access to these facilities in order to provide assistance to hosted asylum seekers.

It is worth noting that these centres are open, therefore asylum seekers are free to contact NGOs, lawyers and UNHCR offices outside of the centres.

Concerning Milan, Naga volunteers reported that, in 2019, as in previous years, to access the CAS centres it was necessary to request a clearance from the Prefecture of Milan, which in turn requires authorization of the Ministry of Interior. After months, and after repeated reminders, it was possible to make the visit to the CAS centres requested, but, unlike what happened until 2017, the visits took place not only with the necessary and usual presence of the operators in the centre, but also in the presence of an official of the Prefecture and without the possibility of visiting the structure. [3]

Concerning the governmental first reception centres for unaccompanied children, the law allows entry into the centres for members of the national and European Parliament, as well as to UNHCR, IOM, EASO and to the Children’s Ombudsman, to the Mayor or a person delegated by him or her. Access is also allowed to persons who have a motivated interest, because of their institutional engagement within the region or the local authority where the centres is based, to child protection agencies with long experience, to representatives of the media, and to other persons who present a justified request. [4]

In 2020, however, access was strongly limited due to – existing or claimed – health reasons connected to COVID-19 prevention. All requests made by Lasciatecientrare network to enter CAS in 2020 were rejected with summary reasons or even not responded.




[1] Article 10(3) Reception Decree.

[2] Article 10(4) Reception Decree.

[3] Naga, Senza Scampo, December 2019.

[4] Article 7 Ministry of Interior Decree of 1 September 2016.

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