Italy Operational Update - November 2018
Overview and Developments
Between 1 January and 30 November 2018, 23,011 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea. This is an 80 per cent decrease compared to sea arrivals in the same period last year, when 117,042 persons reached Italian shores. The number of monthly arrivals in November (980) is comparable with previous months, but is significantly lower than in November last year (5,600).
Departures from Libya have dropped significantly compared to last year: 56 per cent of refugees and migrants reaching Italian shores since the beginning of 2018 departed from Libya, compared to 91 per cent in the same period last year. Notably, in November 2018, there were more departures from Libya (511) than in previous months. The ten most common countries of origin of persons registered at Italian landing points between January and November 2018 are Tunisia, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Guinea. Unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) account for 15 per cent of sea arrivals since the beginning of the year.
On 7 November, seven refugees were resettled from Libya to Italy. Furthermore, fifty-one refugees and asylum-seekers, including women, children and vulnerable persons, arrived from Niger to Italy on 14 November, following evacuation from Libya to Niger. Evacuated persons originate from Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan. The vast majority of them experienced detention and serious abuse in Libya, and were evacuated to Niger in the context of UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism.
Between 1 January and 30 November 2018, 48,339 new asylum applications were lodged in Italy, a 60 per cent decrease compared to the same period last year. As of 30 November 2018, 141,851 adult asylum-seekers were accommodated in reception facilities across the country.
The conversion law on immigration and security was approved by both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, following confidence votes. Prior to its approval, UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Europe expressed concerns about the potential implications of the coming into force of the new law, and called for an approach favouring refugee inclusion. UNHCR also reiterated the importance for the new provisions to comply with the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, as well as with international law and European standards5 .