Interior Minister Matteo Salvini arrives at the Pozzallo hotspot to a chorus of 'Matteo, Matteo'. Credit: ANSA
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini arrives at the Pozzallo hotspot to a chorus of 'Matteo, Matteo'. Credit: ANSA

Italy's national migrant reception system is articulated in three stages contemplating the use of specific structures: hotspots, CARA (reception centers for asylum seekers) and CPR (Detention centres for repatriation).

Hotspots are equipped with landing areas established in compliance with EU commitments to carry out initial medical examinations and pre-identification procedures and give migrants information concerning asylum application and relocation procedures. 

They are currently located in Lampedusa, Pozzallo, Trapani and Taranto, while mobile structures are also used to serve as temporary hotspots in the ports of Messina and Palermo as needed. CARA and CPR Italy's CARA, which are used to house asylum seekers while their application for protection is being examined by the competent territorial commission, are located in Isola Capo Rizzuto in Calabria, Gradisca d'Isonzo near Gorizia, Caltanissetta, Foggia, Brindisi, Bari, Mineo and Castelnuovo di Porto (Rome). 

Monastir, 15 km from Cagliari, serves both as a centre for asylum seekers and as a first reception centre for migrants arriving in Sardinia. The CPRs are located in Turin (Settimo Torinese), Rome (Ponte Galeria), Brindisi and Caltanissetta (Pian del Lago, but currently the structure is used only as a CARA due to fire damage). 

CAS and SPRAR centres 

The CAS, Special reception centres, are used as first reception facilities for sea arrivals when there is insufficient space in the other structures. The centres in the SPRAR (System of protection for asylum seekers and refugees) network, approximately 1,000 across the country, are the second reception facilities aimed at integrating asylum seekers and refugees into the local community. Currently capacity is in the region of 35,870 places, of which 3,488 are occupied by unaccompanied minors. 

The SPRAR are to be found in almost all Italian regions and accommodate asylum seekers and refugees for a maximum of a year. 

More articles