Picture shows migrants arriving at the Roccella Ionica port in the Italian region of Calabria | Photo: Flavia Calaminici / Archive / ANSA
Picture shows migrants arriving at the Roccella Ionica port in the Italian region of Calabria | Photo: Flavia Calaminici / Archive / ANSA

The ISMU foundation reports that over 56,000 people requested asylum in Italy in 2021, more than double the number seen in 2020, when there was a sharp decrease due to the COVID pandemic.

After a decrease in requests for asylum in 2020 during the height of the COVID pandemic, the number began to grow substantially again in 2021. That's according to a report by the ISMU (a foundation for Initiatives and Studies in Multiethnicity), which found that over 56,000 people requested asylum in Italy in 2021, more than double the 27,000 seen in 2020.

An increase was noted especially among Afghan asylum seekers and minors. Among those seeking asylum, the number of minors stands out as it constitutes a fifth of all those filing requests: of them, 3,257 were unaccompanied and 8,312 were instead accompanied by at least one adult.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 in particular led to a high increase in migrants from Afghanistan arriving in Italy. In fact, over 6,000 Afghans requested asylum in Italy last year.

Ukrainians in Italy

On the issue of Ukrainian refugees, the figures on requests for international protection are not yet available and it will only be in the coming days and months that it will be possible to understand the numbers of those arriving in Italy; especially in light of the introduction of temporary protection and the fact that most of the refugees have, for the time being moved to neighboring countries.

UNHCR figures show that Ukrainian refugees are currently mostly in Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Hungary. An ISMU statement noted that it is important to remember that Ukrainian citizens can circulate freely in the Schengen area for 90 days and that they may also move to other EU member states in the next few weeks.

According to the latest information available from the interior ministry, as of April 12 some 91,137 people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine had arrived in Italy: 47,112 women, 10,229 men, and 33,796 children.

 

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