'Salvini decree', 15,000 places lost in migrants' centers

Actionaid,Openpolis say ministry doesn't provide management info

18 March, 09:00

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, MAR 18 - A report drafted by Actionaid and Openpolis has denounced that between December 2018 and December 2019, the so-called 'Salvini decree' led to the loss of over 15,000 places in small-sized CAS reception centers in Italy.

    Between December 2018 and December 2019 League leader Matteo Salvini's controversial migrant-and-security decree led to the loss of more than 15,000 spots in small-sized CAS reception centers, according to the report 'Una mappa dell'accoglienza' (a map of hospitality) published on March 16 by Actionad and Openpolis. The research reported a sharp drop in the number of people staying at hosting facilities, also due to the decreased number of migrant arrivals by sea. Overall, CAS residents shrank from the 133,552 recorded in 2018 to 87,201 in 2019, the organizations said. The number of active centers also dropped from 8,145 to 5,482. Actionaid and Openpolis in particular highlighted that smaller centers lost the highest number of places from 49,487 to 34,005.

    Data on hosting According to the analysis, with the security decree the number of municipalities with government-run centers or extraordinary hosting centers (CAS) plummeted from 2,691 (33,8 percent of Italian municipalities) in 2018 to 1,822 (23 percent) the following year, down 32.3%.

    The report noted that if the over 49,000 active spots in small centers in 2018 (37 percent of the total) had remained open, migrants and asylum seekers could have been distributed more evenly across the territory. Small centers could have in fact accommodated well over half of the spots needed in 2019, the analysis said. It also reported that small centers received 22.7 percent less money per guest, from 35 to 27 euros.

    Organizations say interior ministry must provide information The two associations then accused the interior ministry of "continuing to deny essential information on activities to monitor the management of hosting facilities undertaken by the interior ministry and prefectures". "According to the ministry, the publication of such information would not benefit public interest as it would harm the confidentiality and good outcome of public inspections", the report noted.

    ActionAid and Openpolis on March 17 were scheduled to attend a hearing of Lazio's regional administrative court (TAR) to "claim the right to know and access fundamental information to evaluate policies, based on the effects they produce".

    "The objective is to verify what type of inspections are carried out and how frequent they are, which violations have been reported and their gravity, if the managing agencies offer the services for which they are paid and, ultimately, understand the conditions in which foreigners are hosted in each center", said Vittorio Alvino of Openpolis. Alvino described the hearing on March 17 as "an appointment with democracy". "We expect institutions to respond in a positive way to this operation of transparency because it is part of our prerogatives and responsibilities", he said.

    (Migrants at the CAS hosting center in Alpignano, Turin. Photo: ANSA/TINO ROMANO) (ANSAmed).

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