Migrant Sicily Newsletter, August 2017
- Outside of the system: Foreign minors and young adults deprived of protection in centres in Eastern Sicily
- Fortress Europe declares war on migrants. Between repression, controls on rescuing, push-backs at sea and armed reception
- Disorganisation, illegal practices and violations of human rights: the failures of a reception system still based on “emergency”
- News: Migrants recount tales from the Libyan hell: “Sold as slaves, beaten and forced to leave”
- Information and contacts
OUTSIDE OF THE SYSTEM: FOREIGN MINORS AND YOUNG ADULTS DEPRIVED OF PROTECTION IN CENTRES IN EASTERN SICILY
The conditions in which foreign minors live in Eastern Sicily, and when they arrive, are increasingly traumatic and inhumane. In the middle of July we learnt of the protracted – and illegal – detention of a large group of young Eritreans at the Pozzallo Hotspot, kept there for over a week. Many others are placed in initial reception centres very close to turning 18, facing difficult hurdles in beginning the procedures for requesting documents as minors. Both adults and minors are detained for days, without any appropriate separation, in the tent city at the port of Augusta, depite the temperatures reaching near to 40 degrees, and the total inadequacy of the structures.
FORTRESS EUROPE DECLARES WAR ON MIGRANTS. BETWEEN REPRESSION, CONTROLS ON RESCUING, PUSH-BACKS AT SEA AND ARMED RECEPTION
While the sea continues without end to swallow up the lives of innocents, the Italian government is engaged witgh developing a Code of Conduct for the NGOs working in the Mediterranean. The eleven point attempt to reduce the activity of rescuing at sea to actions strictly concerned with surveillance and to absorb them within the operations of the military vessels, imposing the presence of armed personnel on board. In the end, the Libyan Coast Guard is carrying out push backs at sea, dragging people back to the hell of the Libyan camps from which they had just mannaged to escape. For those who manage to arrive in Italy alive, reception is an “armed” one: at the ports the identification procedures (including forced identification) and selection processes prevail over the needs of assistance and aid for those who arrive already tested by dangers and the fatigue of the Mediterranean crossing.
DISORGANISATION, ILLEGAL PRACTICES AND VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS: THE FAILURES OF A RECEPTION STILL BASED ON “EMERGENCY”
The initial reception centre at Rosolini (Province of Syracuse), the maximum capacity is 90 place, yet 200 people currently live there. Aside from the insustainable situation of overcrowding, life in the centre is made difficult by a series of illegal practices which are systematically carried out, to the migrants’ disadvantage. These including a ban on unauthorised excursions and severe limitation on their freedom of movement. But these kinds of systematic violations of rights, lack of services and absence of protecion – all of which do not spare even minors, victims of human trafficking and other vulnerable subjects – are the order of the day,, including in the Lampedusa Hotspot and the reception centres in the provinces of Agrigento, Trapani and Palermo.
NEWS: MIGRANTS RECOUNT TALES FROM THE LIBYAN HELL: “SOLD AS SLAVES, BEATEN AND FORCED TO LEAVE”
In the videos filmed by Fabio Butera and Filippo Marranconi, three young African men, met within the remit of the #OpenEurope project (Oxfam Italia, Borderline Sicilia and the Waldesian Deaconry) recount stories of the long months of violence and abuse to which there were victim in Libya before leaving for Italy.
INFORMATION AND CONTACTS
For information on how to donate to Borderline Sicilia Onlus – Banca Etica Popolare di Palermo Agenzia di Via Catania, 24 IBAN IT 28 Q 0501804600000000141148 Codice BIC CCRTIT2T84A – and for updates on the current situation of migration in Sicily see the blog:
www.siciliamigranti.blogspot.com or follow our Facebook page:
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Translation by Richard Braude