Italy: limited access to the right of asylum

A new report describes a complex situation

The report updated on the right of asylum in Italy as part of a project AIDA (Asylum Information Database), funded by ‘European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) and edited by ASGI (Associazione Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione), updated to December 31, 2018, was published on April 17, 2019.

The document collects data on asylum applications registered in Italy by the Ministry of Interior during 2018 and provides the updated framework of the legislation governing the condition of asylum seekers in Italy.

Below is an analysis of the various aspects of life concerning those who seek protection in Italy, starting from the difficulties of access to the procedure for the recognition of international protection both before arriving on Italian territory – with the operations of delay in landing and the feared “closure of ports” launched by the current Italian government in recent months – and on Italian territory at the offices responsible for accepting asylum applications – the Police Headquarters (Questura). The latter – according to various reports, fail to issue documentation attesting the intention to request protection – have limited hours that prevent adequate access to the number of requests or demand documentation not required by law.

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is coordinated by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). It aims to provide up-to date information on asylum practice in 23 countries. This includes 20 EU Member States and 3 non-EU countries (Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey) which is accessible to researchers, advocates, legal practitioners and the general public through the dedicated website:

The database also seeks to promote the implementation and transposition of EU asylum legislation reflecting the highest possible standards of protection in line with international refugee and human rights law and based on best practice.

The picture that emerges is very serious: in addition to obvious discrimination, as in the case of the Nigerian community that is reported to all the Police Headquarters (Questura) by the Ministry of the Interior as a group that deserves special supervision, there are violations of the basic international procedures of respect for human rights.

Italy is lagging behind on what need to be done, is lagging behind on normal procedures and makes normalisation procedures increasingly difficult. It is time to stop this trend.


by Christian Elia