Victim or Villain: Italy’s Response to The Influx of Irregular Migrants from North Africa?

ABSTRACT

The year 2011 witnessed a massive influx of irregular migrants from North Africa, using the central Mediterranean to cross into Europe. Libya, which had a Memorandum of Understanding with the southern European country Italy, suffered a civil crisis, creating a vacuum of authority, which failed to prevent journeys from the coasts of Libya into Italy. The Italian government on the other hand reacted by policing its waters to locate irregular sea migrants, sending boats back to places of departure, and ignoring distress calls made by migrants at sea. After several deaths and missing persons, the international community including European neighbouring states, protested against Italy’s responses, pointing out the humanitarian concerns they had caused. In 2013 Italy, through its Operation Mare Nostrum, decided to address the humanitarian concerns by rescuing irregular migrants and reducing deaths in the central Mediterranean. This however did not sit well with some EU neighbours who accused Italy of encouraging irregular migration into Europe. Italy as an EU member, is vilified unfairly for first honouring the wider European policy of controlling the European border and preventing irregular migration, and second, for dealing with the humanitarian emergency the European Union and the international community criticize Italy of.

This dissertation outlines first and foremost, European policies towards irregular migrants from Libya as well as Italy’s independent responses in the period 2011 to 2014. Second, the study determines if Italy through its individual responses violated the human rights of irregular migrants from Libya. This is done by comparing the effect of Italy’s policies on irregular migrants to its regional human rights convention, the European Convention on Human Rights. The study, in conclusion, points out that though Italy through its individual responses had violated the rights of irregular migrants from North Africa, these policies were a wider representation of the EU and its member states. Thus, vilifying Italy individually for mistreating migrants during 2011 - 2014 was unjust. The study recommends a long term, well-thought solution and organized cooperation among EU member states and source and transit countries to better solve issues pertaining to irregular migration, especially, from North Africa.

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APA

KONUTSEY, N (2022). Victim or Villain: Italy’s Response to The Influx of Irregular Migrants from North Africa?. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/victim-or-villain-italy-s-response-to-the-influx-of-irregular-migrants-from-north-africa

MLA 8th

KONUTSEY, NANETTE "Victim or Villain: Italy’s Response to The Influx of Irregular Migrants from North Africa?" Afribary. Afribary, 17 Jun. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/victim-or-villain-italy-s-response-to-the-influx-of-irregular-migrants-from-north-africa. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

KONUTSEY, NANETTE . "Victim or Villain: Italy’s Response to The Influx of Irregular Migrants from North Africa?". Afribary, Afribary, 17 Jun. 2022. Web. 14 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/victim-or-villain-italy-s-response-to-the-influx-of-irregular-migrants-from-north-africa >.

Chicago

KONUTSEY, NANETTE . "Victim or Villain: Italy’s Response to The Influx of Irregular Migrants from North Africa?" Afribary (2022). Accessed July 14, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/victim-or-villain-italy-s-response-to-the-influx-of-irregular-migrants-from-north-africa