Migrants stopped by Libyan authorities in Zawiya, northwestern Libya | Credit: ANSA/ZUHAIR ABUSREWIL
Migrants stopped by Libyan authorities in Zawiya, northwestern Libya | Credit: ANSA/ZUHAIR ABUSREWIL

The regional administrative court of Italy's Lazio region has ruled that a government decree to economically support Libyan authorities is not unlawful. A lawyers association had filed an appeal against the decree, saying that it had helped make the situation for migrants in Libya worse.

The Lazio regional administrative court has rejected an appeal by the Associazione Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione against a decree issued by the Italian foreign ministry in August 2017. The decree authorised the transfer of 2.5 million euros to the Libyan interior ministry for migration management. The funds were from the 'Fondo Africa' and were meant to be used, among other things, for the fight against migrant trafficking and search and rescue operations. 


Resources to support the Libyan coast guard 

The money was used to repair four Libyan motorboats, provide replacement parts, conduct a training course for 22 Libyan officials, and provide insurance and sailing certification for the vessels. In their appeal, the migration law association said that unlawful activities had been financed through the decree and that the decree had make the conditions for migrants in Libya worse, in particular because it made it difficult for migrants to flee Libyan detention centers. 

Court decision 

The court ruled that the decree did not violate the goals of the 'Fondo Africa,' since strengthening the Libyan public system "presumably can help suppress illicit trafficking and institutional chaos, which is one of the main factors of the humanitarian emergency." 

The judges found that the decree did not foster or support practices that are in violation with international law "since the intervention by the Italian state aims specifically to avoid the consolidation or spread of such practices [...]"

 

More articles