Archive: A stranded migrant waits at the Franco-Italian border between Menton and Ventimiglia | Photo: EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
Archive: A stranded migrant waits at the Franco-Italian border between Menton and Ventimiglia | Photo: EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

The Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) in Italy has urged authorities to transfer migrants from the Roja camp in Ventimiglia, at the border with France.

The Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) said on May 12 that it has sent a letter to the prefecture of Imperia, the Liguria region, the municipality of Ventimiglia and the local health authority ASL to denounce the situation in Ventimiglia, in particular the living conditions of migrants staying at the Roja camp and of those without shelter. 

The association is asking authorities to transfer vulnerable people to more adequate facilities given the current coronavirus emergency. 

Urgency in Ventimiglia 

''Many of the people who have reached Italy in recent weeks will finish their period of isolation over the next few days ordered by national and local authorities with the consequence that they could leave'' to try to reach ''other border areas and other European countries." Lockdown measures introduced to contain the spread of coronavirus have been eased, the association said. 

''At the same time, given that the situation has also changed in other European countries, refoulements by French authorities could increase'', the statement went on to say.

ASGI therefore urged authorities to ''relocate families and people with chronic diseases and psychiatric conditions who are currently at the Roja camp."

ASGI said it has advised authorities, along with other NGOs, to take advantage, ''at least for now, of several measures introduced by legislators to deal with the epidemiological emergency." 

Such measures include the possibility for a prefect to use hotels or other buildings to host people in quarantine or self-imposed isolation if such measures can't be implemented where they are currently residing.

The association said it was fundamental to guarantee that these people are appropriately hosted. 

No migrants have been admitted at the camp since April 18. As a consequence, many who have reached the area after that day have no place to stay.

A first appeal was ignored, association says 

ASGI first sent a letter to authorities on April 7, 2020, to demand information on which measures were being taken to prevent and manage coronavirus cases in the prefecture's hosting center Roja in Ventimiglia. 

In the first letter, the organization also demanded to reallocate minors and vulnerable people. ASGI said that authorities did not respond to the letter and that one migrant resident had subsequently tested positive for coronavirus. All migrants at the center were placed into quarantine.

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