Council of Europe raises human rights concerns tied to Italy’s security law

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Migrants disembark from an Italian Finance Guard vessel in Porto Empedocle, Sicily.

Council of Europe raises human rights concerns tied to Italy’s security law


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The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatovic, in a letter to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed Strasbourg’s concerns over the repercussions for migrants and asylum seekers following the Italian government’s adoption of revised migrant and security legislation.
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The Commissioner appeared concerned by the negative consequences that the Decree-Law on International Protection, Immigration, and Public Security may impinge on the rights of asylum seekers, including those who have been granted humanitarian protection and who already have access to essential social services in Italy, including healthcare and education.

While acknowledging Italy’s role in receiving the asylum seekers and migrants who have arrived on its shores, the Commissioner expresses her deep concerns about a number of recent measures.

“I will continue to impress upon other European states the importance of solidarity to ensure that Italy and other states who receive first arrivals are not left to deal with this situation alone”, said Mijatovic, who added that at the same time, she wants to see the Italian government do more to ensure that the human rights of persons rescued at sea, including by NGOs, “are never put at risk because of current disagreements between the Member States about disembarkation and that humanitarian considerations always take priority.”

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