Government response to migrant massacres creates more exclusion and injustice
After yet another dramatic shipwreck on 26 February in Calabria, in Steccato di Cutro, which cost the lives of more than 90 people, including more than 30 minors, the Italian government’s response (disappointing and detrimental to human rights) was not long in coming.
Decree 20/2023, the so-called ‘Cutro Decree’, currently in Parliament, in no way addresses the real causes that have led to the deaths of thousands of people in the Mediterranean in recent years. On the contrary, it provides for worsening conditions of the legal status of foreigners arriving in Italy, with the sure effect of increasing situations of irregularity and exclusion even of those who have already been on Italian territory for some time.
There was a timely reaction from civil society organisations and networks committed to promoting the rights of refugees and migrants who signed the appeal to reverse the decree, leading the national demonstration on 18 April in Rome. Among the signatories of the appeal against the decree are the Acli, the Commissione Migranti e GPIC Missionari Comboniani Italia, the Tavolo Asilo e Immigrazione – to which the Migrantes Foundation also adheres – together with dozens of other organisations and networks such as Cgil, Amnesty International, Arci, the Casa delle Donne, and the Centro Astalli. In addition to the demonstration in Rome, mobilisations were also organised in Crotone, Viterbo, Avellino, Brindisi, Lecce and Palermo.
All these squares call on Parliament to reject the ‘Cutro Decree’, and on the government to radically change both the interventions put in place and those recently announced, which are totally inadequate to manage a crisis in the Mediterranean destined to worsen without adequate measures by the international community. In particular, the associations contest the measures that ‘aim to dismantle the special protection to safeguard the private and family life of the foreigner – which had partly cushioned the disastrous effects of the abolition of humanitarian protection – to strengthen the network of Return Centres, and to hinder the right to appeal of asylum seekers who are denied asylum’.