Lampedusa: the emergency of unaccompanied minors

(In collaboration with Termometro Politico)


The situation at the reception center in Lampedusa (Italy) is still difficult. The presence of a growing number of minors among the migrants raises serious concerns. Recently about 250 children have landed in Italy. Most of them are very little and unaccompanied, because they were forced to leave their homes on their own or because they have lost their parents and relatives between the waves.

Almost 800 minors are unaccompanied and are still waiting for a placement in the community. The association ‘Save the Children’ told us that from January 1, 2015 to date more than 6,500 migrants have landed in Italy. Respect to the months of January and February of 2014, landings experienced an increase of 60%.

Migration flows from Libya to Italy are rapidly increasing since Libya is a transit country and it is the destination for thousands of migrants coming from Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Africa or fleeing Syria. The absence of a well balanced government in Tripoli, the advance of ISIS and the expected improvement in the weather conditions are factors that will encourage the exodus from the North-African country, as analysts and experts said. Italy, which is located in the center of the Mediterranean area and has always been a meeting point of distant peoples, can’t afford to underestimate the migration phenomenon. Among its main goals the need to better manage this inevitable social phenomenon with which it has been dealing for decades is emerging, since Italy has been transformed from an emigration country into an immigration country. What is needed is more support from Europe, due to the delicacy and the urgency of the issue which requests a proper solution in this moment of difficulty and economic crisis Italy is going through nowadays.

Among the many voices even the one of the association ‘Save the Children’ highlighted the need to establish a suitable national hosting system, able to take into special account the significant and growing number of minors who arrive in Italy unaccompanied. As soon as the children land, they do not find suitable structures to ensure their rights. In Italy the spaces for the first reception are limited; many migrants have to sleep outside, because there aren’t enough beds, blankets and food. They do not have enough basic goods. When it rains many rooms flood. Discomforts are serious and manifest.

Too many children are alone during month in centers which cannot guarantee the respect of their rights. Foundamental and inviolable rights such as health, education and game should be totally recognized to every child. This doesn’t happen, the rights of these children are not guaranteed as they should. There is lack of first necessity goods and of what is needed to properly accomodate minors, which often find themselves alone in a foreign and unknown country. Fortunately, many Italians, especially those who are physically closer to this reality, offer a great help to migrants, both children and adults, and consequently they help the Italian institutions. Many Sicilians and Lampedusan distribute essential goods in the squares. The most supportive ones offer hospitality to single women with children. Lampedusan families of Ai.Bi., which have attended training courses promoted by Ai.Bi. (AMICI DEI BAMBINI – Friends of Children) to become host families repeatedly lanch an appeal: “Give us your children, we are ready to open our homes and hearts”. They ask to entrust them their minors so that they can spend their time waiting for placement in a suitable condition, when their foundamental rights are recognized and respected.


Master’s degree in Law (University of Bari “Aldo Moro”)

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More