This tiny Mediterranean island has become a locus for illegal immigration, refugees and asylum-seekers into the European Union, as it is along the continent’s most southern maritime border. While part of Italy, the 6,000-person island is actually geographically closer to Tunisia than Sicily. In January 2009, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees “expressed mounting concern” that the conditions for reception of asylum seekers is inadequate. The UNHCR said that Lampedusa’s refugee center was designed to hold 850 people, but currently holds nearly 2,000.
While Lampedusa often gets a lot of attention for its having to deal with migrants, its neighbor, Malta, often has to bear a similar brunt as well. Malta, a small EU nation of 400,000 people about 90 kilometers south of Sicily.…More →
Last week, 14 North African migrants were picked up by an Italian boat 30 miles off the coast of Lampedusa and 90 miles off the coast of Malta. Initially the Italian authorities refused to send any officers to the location…More →
In a recent meeting of EU justice ministers in Stockholm, the European Justice Commissioner, Jacques Barrot (pictured), said that the EU is seeking new negotiations with Turkey and Libya to try to curb illegal immigration into Europe.
The commissioner told…More →
According to The Associated Press, the UN High Commission for Refugees said yesterday that Eritrean refugees were “mistreated by the Italian navy when it intercepted them in the Mediterranean,” off the coast of Lampedusa.
Ron Redmond, the UNHCR’s spokesman, said that…More →
Since earlier this month, the migration holding site at Lampedusa has been entirely emptied. Yes, astonishingly, the same location that once held 1,800 migrants has been entirely devoid of anyone being held at the center.
According to an account earlier this month…More →
Yesterday, Italy’s lower parliamentary chamber, the Camera dei Deputati passed a bill that made it a crime to enter or stay in Italy illegally. (Isn’t the entire definition of illegal immigration that it’s, erm, illegal?)
In any case, Premier Silvio Berlusconi and…More →