Migrants at the 'Fenoglio' reception centre run by the Italian Red Cross in Settimo Torinese.PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA/Alessandro Di Marco
Migrants at the 'Fenoglio' reception centre run by the Italian Red Cross in Settimo Torinese.PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA/Alessandro Di Marco

In 2018 just 6.5 percent of applicants for international protection in Italy have been granted refugee status, while 61 percent of requests have been turned down.

Of the 40.123 asylum applications examined in Italy in the first five months of the year, 2,600 have been granted. This amounts to 6.5% of the total. A further 1,634 applicants (4 percent) were granted subsidiary protection and 11,306 (28 percent) protection for humanitarian reasons. Some 24, 524 applications, or 61% of the total, were rejected. 


Protection status 

In Italy there are currently 20 territorial commissions and 30 sub-offices responsible for examining asylum requests. To be eligible for full refugee status under the terms of the 1951 Geneva Convention applicants must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group should they return home. 

Instead, subsidiary protection is awarded to people seeking asylum who do not qualify as refugees but who are deemed to face a real risk of suffering serious harm should they return to the country of origin. 

Humanitarian protection is a residual form of protection available to those not eligible for refugee status or subsidiary protection but cannot be removed from national territory for "serious reasons of a humanitarian nature". 

Over 28,000 applications made from January through May 

The Italian authorities received 28,613 applications for asylum in the first five months of the year, particularly from Nigerian nationals. In Italy the right to asylum is guaranteed under article 10, third paragraph, of the Constitution: "The foreigner who is denied in his own country the effective exercise of the democratic liberties guaranteed by the Italian Constitution has the right of asylum in the territory of the Republic, in accordance with the conditions established by law".
 

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