Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has agreed to let ashore 27 migrants from Mediterranean NGO rescue ship Open Arms, all of them claim that they are “unaccompanied teenagers”.
Those who claim they are minors were allowed to disembark on the Italian island of Lampedusa after more than sixteen days at sea, and considerable international pressure, however so far only six EU state expressed readiness to welcome some of the passengers on the vessel navigating under Spanish flag.
At present there are more than 500 million Africans without birth certificate or/and passport, according to the World Bank, subsequently their age can be estimated only approximately through medical tests in cases it is requested by prosecution. Among those without birth certificate 494 million are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Reportedly more than 100 migrants remain on board the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, and the NGO insists on Lampedusa (Italy) landing.
Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has criticized the Sea-Watch NGO after it refused to take 52 migrants collected off Libya this week to Tripoli. The Sea Watch 3 vessel, which is close to the Italian island of Lampedusa, at one stage seemed to have turned towards Malta, but Salvini said it is not navigating there.
“No Malta,” Salvini explained via Twitter micro blog. “The #SeaWatch NGO ship has changed route again: it is swaying in the Mediterranean playing a game on the backs of the immigrants, even though it asked for a port and obtained it in Tripoli“.
“We are witnessing the umpteenth show,” Salvini continued his criticism of the NGO. “They say they are good, but they are kidnapping women and children in the middle of the sea”.
Sea-Watch refuses to anchor in Tripoli for safety reasons. “Forcibly taking rescued people back to a war-torn country, having them imprisoned and tortured, is a crime,” the German NGO said.
Meanwhile the Italian government, based on its right to protect sovereign sea borders the same way as land ones, has endorsed a new decree that would apply to NGO ships with illegal migrants rescued at sea to Italy without official permission fined up to 50,000 euros.
Matteo Salvini rhetoric has hardened after his Lega party impressive victory in the European elections 2019, bringing him a approval of more than a third of the Italian electorate.
In spite of the Interior minister reluctance to accept illegal migrants, the NGO has been successfully using the combination international Conventions endorsed after the WWII dating from colonial era, and the Law of the Sea to continue imposing the flows of illegal migrants on Italy.
An Italian merchant vessel, the Asso 25 that transported 62 illegal migrants to Pozzallo in Sicily. (Pictured above).
Alarm Phone NGO wrote on social media that they the Maltese authorities did not provide any assistance when they were informed on the goings on in the search and rescue area.
According to ANSA News agency, Minister for Internal Affairs Matteo Salvini and the Pozzallo Port Authority have been informed of the transportation of migrants to Italy.
As many as eleven young people claimed they are minors. However the information given by illegal migrants is provided in the form of affidavit, their own statement about their identities. At present, according to the World Bank, there are more than 500 million people on African continent, who have no birth certificate, no passport. The status of ‘minor‘ they claim allows to profit from it, however there are no juridical mechanisms to verify the reality. Medical check of a ‘minor’, who committed a homicide in Sweden, was undertaken on prosecutors order, and revealed the “Ethiopian boy” was at least 21 instead of 15 he claimed.
The United Nations confirmed their human rights experts have reiterated criticism expressed in a letter sent to Italy over the government’s proposal for a new decree on security.
The aim of the Italian new legislation is to build on the security-and-migration decree that was approved last year and drafted by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, focus on stemming illegal migration and human trafficing. The UN said that the proposed decree would result in NGO-run ships fined for every person picked up at sea and transported to Italian territory, and vessels risking the loss of their licences.
The UN experts said that if the decree is approved and comes into force, it would undermine the human rights of asylum seekers and the victims of torture. The UN position is firmly based on core Refugee Convention (1951), dating the colonial era, when there was no single free state in Africa, and the population was a half of European. However, in spite of the drastic change of the context the UN experts continue to use the Convention without any adaptation to contemporary realities.
“The right to life and the principle of non-refoulement should always prevail over national legislation or other measures purportedly adopted in the name of national security,” the experts said in a letter to the Italian Government.
“We urge authorities to stop endangering the lives of migrants, including asylum seekers and victims of trafficking in persons, by invoking the fight against traffickers…This approach is misleading and is not in line with both general international law and international human rights law”, the letter said.
“Instead, restrictive migration policies contribute to exacerbating migrants’ vulnerabilities and only serve to increase trafficking in persons“.
“The United Nations is full of bureaucrats rooting for mass immigration”, Salvini said after the UN criticised his proposed security package for fining illegal migrant transporters.
“Minister and MPs elected by the Italians decide on the security and happiness of the Italians,” he said.
“Unknown bureaucrats who are fans of mass immigration do not,” he added.
Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini said that children and those with malaise on Sea-Watch vessel were permitted to enter Italy, “but the absolute ban remains on the Sea Watch 3 against entering our territorial waters.”
Italy has allowed migrant families rescued at sea by the NGO group Sea-Watch, transporting illegal migrants from Libyan coasts to Europe, to be transferred to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, but is refusing landfall to others.
Sea-Watch says the 18 migrants taken to Lampedusa were mostly families and an injured woman. However, according tot he Sea-Watch there are still migrants, remaining on board, they call them “guests” in a blunt denial of the reality, of illegal migration.
Previously Matteo Salvini reiterated that his government will not allow any of NGO’s search-and-rescue ships to dock. The statement has been made after a vessel exploited by Sea-Watch collected 65 migrants off the Libyan coast this week.
“First they were in Libyan waters, then in Maltese waters,” Salvini underlined.
“Putting the lives of the migrants on board at risk, they want to reach Italy at all costs” he continued. “These people are not rescuers, they are human traffickers and they will be treated as such”.
“Italy’s ports are closed and will remain closed for traffickers of human beings“, the Minister concluded.
AMENDED: On Sunday the smuggles has celebrated one more victory: all the illegal migrants from Libya were hosted in Italy.
Members of European Parliament have approved the proposal to assign to the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027 to strengthen the security in Mediterranean.
Europe’s external borders have seen an unprecedented rise in the numbers of illegal migrants and refugees wishing to enter the EU in recent years. The plans,adopted by MEPs during April Plenary will see the EU agency equipped with a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027. The standing corps will consist of staff members employed by the agency as well as staff seconded on a mandatory basis by EU countries.
“You have to be fair with those who deserve protection, harsh with those prey on the vulnerable and firm with those who seek to break the rules” the rapporteur Roberta Metsola (pictured above), the rapporteur said.
The critics of the measure say the measure is superficial and does not address the problem of the illegal migration in a meaningful way. Often articulated promises to apply different approach to people who have right for asylum, and those who don’t are largely exclusionary, because it is impossible to trace their identities in principle.
African population is largely following verbal traditions, and has no custom to issue documents at birth. According World Bank 500 million Africans have no birth certificate and have no information on date of their birth, including day, month, year. This phenomena became notorious in Europe, when young men were successfully claiming to be minors, but there were no legal mechanism to establish their age. Subsequently in absence of population register in Sub–Saharan Africa the promises to make difference between different categories of illegal migrants crossing Mediterranean, are totally illusory.
The opponents of Roberta Metsola insist that at present shape the Coast Guard Agency is designed to accommodate illegal migrants plans to enter Europe safely, however it does not serve the interest of the European nations, some of which, like Italy, were overwhelmed by the influx of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has reiterated his refusal to NGO-run illegal migrant-rescue ships to dock.
The League leader was commenting amid concern about 49 asylum seekers saved in the Mediterranean by German NGOs Sea-Watch and Sea Eye who have not been allocated a port of safety amid a standoff.
Pope Francis in vain made an appeal to European leaders to “show concrete solidarity” in this case. Many Italian consider that their good will and hospitality were abused, while the majority of the EU counties did nothing to relocate migrants constantly arriving to Italian coasts from Africa.