oint patrols on the Italy-Slovenia border to stem the flow of irregular arrivals in Friuli Venezia Giulia | Photo: ANSA/Cristiana Missori
oint patrols on the Italy-Slovenia border to stem the flow of irregular arrivals in Friuli Venezia Giulia | Photo: ANSA/Cristiana Missori

A proposal to use trail cameras to detect migrants along Italy's border with Slovenia has created controversy.

Pierpaolo Roberti, the councilor for security and immigration policies in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northeastern Italy, has said the region "is ready to buy trail cameras" to place in an area close to the border with Slovenia "to report in real time the passage of irregular migrants."

The remote cameras would transmit the photos to regional officials and police forces "thus enabling targeted operations and increasing the number of readmissions, in particular towards Slovenia," Roberti said on January 14.

The councilor stressed that "the region stands by security forces" and intends to guarantee "maximum support to counter irregular migration flows."

Drones against undocumented migrants

Roberti said trail cameras could be a "quick and simple solution" to help police patrol the border. "Thanks to specific software," he said, the equipment wasn't costly and could be used "only to detect human presence."

The councilor called the cameras an "interesting opportunity" along with other possibilities that "have already been proposed, like the use of drones or thermographic cameras."

ICS criticizes proposals

The Italian Consortium for Solidarity (ICS), a Trieste-based group that provides housing to migrants, called the proposals "disconcerting" and "illegitimate." In a statement, ICS said that Roberti "ignores or pretends to ignore that, according to our Constitution, the region has no jurisdiction over border patrols and migration flows," which are under the "exclusive jurisdiction of the State."

Moreover, ICS said that financially "the region can't buy, position or manage - not even indirectly - any detection or control system along the border" with taxpayers' money. Finally, the organization called the claim that trail cameras would allow to significantly increase so-called "readmissions" to Slovenia "laughable."

Readmissions could not occur if migrants request international protection, in which case only the Dublin Regulation can be implemented, ICS stated.
 

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