Migrants disembark from a boat from Tunisia in the port of Lampedusa on October 10, 2020 | Photo: Concetta Rizzo/ANSA
Migrants disembark from a boat from Tunisia in the port of Lampedusa on October 10, 2020 | Photo: Concetta Rizzo/ANSA

Migrant arrivals from Tunisia in Italy have increased significantly this year, a new report by FTDES has found. The number of undocumented migrants rose 180% compared to the same month last year.

There were 1,328 undocumented migrants who arrived in Italy from Tunisia in October 2020 -- compared to 381 in October 2019, according to a report published by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) on Wednesday. This means that the number of undocumented migrants who reached Italy rose 180%.

The report said the number of intercepted crossings from Tunisia also increased over the past few years: from 14 in October 2018 to 47 in October 2019 and 157 in October 2020.

Migrant arrivals: more than 11,000 so far this year

FTDES found that a total of 11,212 undocumented migrants reached Italian shores from Tunisia between January 1 to October 31, 2020. Of these migrants, 1,664 were reportedly underage - most of them (1,291) were unaccompanied minors. More than 96% of the adult migrants who arrived in Italy fromTunisia were men, the report found.

Also between January and October of this year, 11,900 migrants were reportedly arrested by Tunisian authorities in 999 intercepted crossing operations.

Arrivals and interceptions increased dramatically

In the two previous years, FTDES recorded far fewer migrant arrivals in Italy from Tunisia and also far fewer interceptions.

In 2019, a total of 2,592 migrants made it to Italy between January 1 and October 31, while 3,588 were intercepted. During the same period in 2018, the number of migrants who arrived in Italy was 4,849, and 3974 people were intercepted.

27% of migrants are non-Tunisians

According to the FTDES report, most -- but not all -- of the migrants who crossed the Mediterranean from Tunisia to Italy so far this year are Tunisians, 73% to be exact. FTDES found that a total of 3,000 non-Tunisian undocumented migrants left Tunisia cladestinely this year.

 

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