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Refugee policies - Italy

#Italy is one of the most important gates to #Europe for #asylumseekers coming from #Africa and the #MiddleEast through #NorthAfrica and the #Mediterranean Sea or the #BalkanRoute.

In 2020, over 40% of arriving asylum seekers were received by Italy, of which 14% constituted children traveling alone. During the peak of refugee arrivals in 2015, Italy has consistently complained about other #EU members’ lack of solidarity with regard to sharing responsibility to receive asylum seekers.

Under Italian law, refugee protection is granted by article 10 of its constitution, which also prescribes that domestic law shall be in compliance with international law. Italy ratified all relevant international agreements on the #refugee status and, as a member of the EU, is also bound to respect fundamental rights and implement its obligations under EU law. Local authorities play a significant role in the integration of migrants and refugees. Besides the Consolidated Immigration Act in force since 1998, more specialised immigration and refugee policies have recently been created in order to properly respond to the current needs.

In compliance with international standards, law 46/2017 guarantees international protection to foreign citizens who have requested asylum - those who are persecuted for their religion, nationality, political affiliation, etc, who are displaced because of war, hunger, disasters, poverty, as well as stateless individuals.

However, this law has also been strongly criticised because it eliminated first instance appeals upon the rejection of asylum applications, which can be now proceeded exclusively by the Supreme Court, and not by lower courts. Such measure is reasonably considered problematic because it may hinder the right to appeal as a fair trial guarantee under international law, i.e. the right to ask a superior court to re-evaluate one’s case.

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