Migrant center issues unresolved, says detainee rights chief

Facilities require urgent improvements, hygiene assessments

15 April, 09:00

    (ANSAmed) - ROMA, 15 APR - Italy's national detainee rights chief has said that several problems remain unresolved in the country's migrant centers that negatively affect their human rights.

    "Life in repatriation centers (CPRs) continues with its burden of unresolved contradictions and issues of various types that weigh irremediably on the rights of the people affected," Italy's detainee rights ombudsman Mauro Palma wrote in a report published Tuesday.

    He went on to urge, after a visit to CPRs, "determined work for structural improvement" as well as periodic assessments by the local health authority into services and hygiene conditions, that the "permeability and osmosis" with the surrounding territory be increased as well as that those hosted at the centers have the possibility to make and receive telephone calls.

    'Lack of effectiveness' of the system Centers in Turin, Rome-Ponte Galeria, Palazzo San Gervasio, Bari, Brindisi-Restinco, Caltanissetta-Pian del Lago, Trapani-Milo, Gradisca d'Isonzo, Macomer, and Milan were monitored between April 2019 and February 2021.

    During this period there were "protests, rebellions, and damage to the facilities" until the "arising of the public health emergency that further changed the context.

    As an initial observation, Palma noted the clear "lack of effectiveness" of the system that, in line with the previous years, also in 2019 saw fewer than 50% of those detained actually repatriated.

    "An expansion of the network of centers," he noted, "showed "an intensification of the use of administrative detention without any improvement in the problems that affected the older facilities, now replicated in the new ones." Issues persist in facilities The detainee rights ombudsman welcomed the shortening of the detention period from 180 to 90 days. However, he noted, there are still other issues that need to be resolved within the regulatory framework.

    Some 20 years after their introduction, the centers are still places that have not been well-considered and "legislative intervention on the ways in which to 'detain' is necessary".

    There are still problems with the facilities ranging from "rudimentary architecture" to lack of spaces for socialising and worship, "which also increases tension": "from the point of view of the material conditions of the CPR, a change of direction is necessary", he stressed.

    The ombudsman attached to the report a response from the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration, which ensured economic and organisational resources to improve the structural aspects noted.

    (Police intervention during a revolt at Milan's Via Corelli CPR.

    October 12, 2020. Photo: ANSA/Andrea Fasani) (ANSAmed).

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