Tunisian migrants and asylum seekers being held on boats off the coast of Italy have drowned or attempted suicide.
Story of people moving from Tunisia to to Lampeduza, with interviews and fotos.
Following a five-fold increase in Tunisian migration in 2020 – which has put reception facilities under enormous strain, observers say – Italy has sped up the repatriation of Tunisian nationals, using a string of agreements the country signed with Tunisia since the 1990s.
Despite the EU’s asylum policy, which states that access to the asylum procedure must be granted without discrimination, Jean-Pierre Cassarino, a migration expert at the Brussels-based College of Europe, says Italian authorities are effectively denying certain groups of people the right to even apply for asylum “by shrinking the time and space in which these legal rights can be accessed”.
“Space” is shrunk by denying the possibility to start an asylum procedure on quarantine boats, Cassarino explains, while the “time” in which repatriation takes place is hastened once migrants disembark, leaving little opportunity to file a request and appeal a repatriation order.
Author(s): Layli Foroudi and Federica Marsi
Full Title: Tunisians risking their lives to escape Italy’s quarantine boats
Publisher or Journal: Al Jareera
Year of Publication: 2021
Document Type: Report