Immigration: the tragedy of Lampedusa is still alive

(In collaboration with Termometro Politico)


On 3 October 2013, in Lampedusa, a Libyan ship – used for the transportation of migrants – has sunk, causing hundreds of missing and 366 deaths. In order to face this occurrence, the Italian government, lead at that time by Enrico Letta, has launched the operation “Mare Nostrum”.

Immigration: from Mare Nostrum to Triton

It was a military and humanitarian operation with the purpose to assist the illegal immigrants, before new strategic tragedies happened. About one year after the happening, precisely on 31 October 2014, the current ministries of Interior and Defense, Angelino Alfano e Roberta Pinotti, announced the end of the operation “Mare Nostrum”. As a matter of fact, it was replaced by the new European Union program named “Triton”, with the purpose of performing control on the borders.


The two above dates, even if far from each other, have has mutual factor to have upset the lives of millions of migrants. It’s been more than a year and the situation does not look any better: according to the UNHCR, there is currently an alarming increase of migrants, who are moving toward Europe, especially to Germany and Italy. It’s also worth to be stressed, a lot of money is asked to them in order to be able to abandon their Countries, in terrible and inhuman conditions, to look for a better life.

The limitations of operation  “Triton”

In such a critical scenario, it should be highlighted that the operation “Mare Nostrum” has not totally left the scene: in fact, it will be yet pursued until the end of this year. In the meanwhile, the operation “Triton” has acknowledged its limitations, as evidenced by the refusal to its support by the United Kingdom: thus, the European management of migratory flows risks to lose more reliability, giving space to large and endless uncertainty.

Reception centers

Instead, possible certainties are guaranteed by some day reception centers, one of which is  “Civico Zero”, in Rome.  It is a project financed by Save the Children – Italia for providing and ensuring support, orientation and protection to foreign children, in terms of social exclusion and risk of delinquency, abuse and exploitation. According to Amnesty International, thousands of migrants and refugees are often stuck in “detention centers”, overcrowded or insufficiently funded: there have been many cases of beatings, whippings and other forms of torture or ill-treatment, even against women and children.

Europe, migrants and human rights

The European management regarding immigration has not performed sublimely in the health care sector: in fact, European Union failed in giving proper attention to the health policies addressed to migrants, thus failing its commitment to protect human rights.

While immigration has often been called into question as a major cause for the spread of various epidemics, it should be noted that most of the migrants have limited access to health care.

The current situation is, indeed, marked by a profound lack of ability, but also willingness from the European Union countries to adequately address all issues related to social, economic and health fields, which affect thousands of migrants seeking a better future.



Master’s degree in International Relations (LUISS “Guido Carli”)

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