Picture shows police in front of the 'Ponte Galeria' CPR, near Rome. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/NSA/FABIO FRUSTACI
Picture shows police in front of the 'Ponte Galeria' CPR, near Rome. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/NSA/FABIO FRUSTACI

Italy's watchdog for the rights of detainees has reported that some 4,000 people were held in Italian migrant repatriation centers in 2018. Only 43 percent of them were subsequently repatriated, the authority said.

The Italian Guarantor for the Rights of Persons Detained or Deprived of Their Freedom has said that only 43 percent of the 4,000 people held at migrant Centers for Residence and Repatriation (CPR) in 2018 were effectively repatriated. In an address to the Italian Parliament on repatriation centers, the Chairman of the Guarantor's Office Mauro Palma said that out of the over 4,000 people who spent time in a CPR facility in 2018, ''only 43 percent were effectively repatriated - a number that has remained on a similar scale over the years." 

The majority of migrants - or 57 percent - left the centers because judicial authorities did not confirm their detention, or the terms or their detention had expired or because they had applied for international protection. 

The situation of women 

The guarantor said that in 2018 a total of 631 women were hosted at the only CPR for women, the ''Ponte Galeria'' near Rome, including 83 who were repatriated, or 13 percent of the total. The authority noted that last year, with the government's decree on security and migration, the average period of detention at CPR centers became longer but the number of repatriations remained overall the same proving ''the lack of correlation between the length of the deprivation of freedom and the effectiveness of its purpose." 

'Detention cannot be a deterrent for departures' 

Palma said it was necessary to question the ''ethical-political foundation'' of detention and how much the extension of its length is a "discouraging message to send to potential" migrants. This would be '"serious" because "personal freedom can never become a symbol and message of a political intention, not even when it is shared."

More articles