Migrants are subjected to medical checks in Messina, Italy, in February 2020, after they were were rescued at sea | Photo: ANSA/Carmelo Imbesi
Migrants are subjected to medical checks in Messina, Italy, in February 2020, after they were were rescued at sea | Photo: ANSA/Carmelo Imbesi

Dozens of Italian associations have published a joint statement urging the government to adopt measures to protect migrants, asylum seekers, and the homeless during the Covid-19 emergency.

Dozens of Italian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have called for the government to do more to protect vulnerable migrants.

The NGOs said they wanted to bring attention to the problems that foreigners  -- especially asylum seekers, the homeless, and workers crowded in makeshift rural settlements -- face amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. These people, they said, lack sufficient protection from the coronavirus.

They want authorities to take the following measures:
  • shut down large migrant reception centers (CPRs) and reorganise the system to distribute migrants more evenly throughout the country
  • enable access to the international protection system for foreign minors, even for those excluded by the security decree
  • accept homeless people and those living in makeshift rural settlements into appropriate facilities
  • stop new admissions into CPRs and hotspots, create alternatives to detention given the current impossibility to repatriate migrants to their countries of origin
Among the NGOs that sent the open letter to the government were organizations such as Asgi, Naga, Magistratura Democratica and Fondazione Migrantes.

In their letter, the organizations argued that if the authorities followed their suggestions, they would ensure that all people are equally protected, without regard to gender, race, language, religion, and the like.  They also argued that the measures proposed by them would benefit public health in general.
 

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