Migrants in Italy 'left to sleep in streets' while asylum applications processed

Access to the comments Comments
By Elena Cavallone, Christopher Pitchers
Migrants in Italy, Sept 2020.
Migrants in Italy, Sept 2020.   -   Copyright  Euronews

Migrants in the Italian capital Rome are being ignored by the authorities and left to sleep on the streets while they await results of their asylum applications, it's been claimed. 

Many of the city's migrant hosting centres have closed meaning some new arrivals can spend months without shelter. 

The asylum process can take years to be completed and the outcome is more than likely to be negative: around 80% of asylum requests are rejected in Italy.

“It is not possible that in 2020 there are all these people sleeping on the street," said Andrea Costa, a coordinator at Baobab, a migrant support association. 

"Above all, COVID-19 has shown how that even in the case of a pandemic these people are completely abandoned by the institutions."

Brussels' newly proposed migration pact intends for migrants to be pre-screened at the EU's borders in order to determine within 12 weeks if they are likely to receive asylum. It is likely to be a decision based mainly on a migrant's nationality. 

“We see a gap at the heart of this proposal around safe and legal routes to protection," said Imogen Sudbery, from the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid NGO. 

"It doesn't make sense for us to look at combating irregular migration, stopping people moving at all costs rather than ensuring that the system is planned and managed in a way which works for hosting communities and for new arrivals."