A new report on Italy, by human rights commissioner Nils Muižnieks, urges the country’s authorities to improve its treatment of Roma and migrants.
Today’s report, which followed the commissioner’s visit to the country last July, also warns that “it is high time that durable solutions be found to the excessive length of court proceedings, which is a long-standing human rights problem in Italy, generating the highest number of so-called repetitive cases lodged before the European Court of Human Rights.”
Commissioner Muižnieks welcomes the adoption of Italy’s first national strategy for the inclusion of Roma and Sinti but adds that “it must now yield concrete actions.
“The policies of segregated camps and forced evictions should be once and for all discontinued. There is also a continuing need to work against anti-Gypsyism, which remains rampant in political discourse and in the media. Regrettably, some measures taken recently, such as the severe downsizing of UNAR, the anti-discrimination office entrusted with a co-ordinating role under the strategy, may thwart the chances to achieve Roma inclusion and fight against discrimination.”
The Commissioner gives his backing to Italy’s decision not to pursue the policy of “push-back” of migrants to Libya, which constitutes a human rights violation. “The announced renegotiation of the bilateral agreement with Libya must include appropriate guarantees to prevent human rights violations resulting from possible interceptions and expulsions. Attention should also be paid to avoiding similar violations when applying other agreements, such as the readmission agreements with Egypt and Tunisia, and when returning migrants to Greece.”
Commissioner Muižnieks stresses that the “near absence” of an integration framework for refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection clashes with Italy’s human rights obligations. He adds “The shocking situation of the estimated 800 recognised refugees and beneficiaries of international protection who occupy the so-called “Palace of Shame” in Rome exposes the fate of deprivation that refugees often face in Italy.”