Reception conditions in Italy: no improvement in sight

An update (german language) published today by Swiss Refugee Aid (SFH) and the borderline-europe association supplements the SFH's Italy report of January 2020 and focuses on current developments in reception conditions in Italy. The legal changes and their implementation in practice are discussed, as well as the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on persons in the context of asylum.

Things have quietened down around former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, but the consequences of his short-sighted and anti-human refugee policy are having an impact: At the beginning of 2020, the SFH presented a comprehensive report detailing the drastic consequences of the changes made to asylum legislation in October 2018. Some of these have since been changed again on paper and partially reversed by Salvini's independent successor Luciana Lamorgese. However, the current update shows that a legislative act is not able to remedy the long-standing problems, some of which already existed before the Salvini era.

All the more important is the question of how the reception conditions for persons sent back to Italy under the Dublin III Regulation or in application of a readmission agreement are at the moment and taking into account the Covid 19 pandemic. Italy has been hit hard by the pandemic, the number of people in need has increased, while the number of beds in emergency shelters has had to be halved. The situation in the labour market has further worsened in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic and the deterioration of the macroeconomic situation in 2020 and 2021. There is a lack of support for people in the asylum process and an additional lack of prospects for people with protection status.