Migrants, letter from the EU Council to Italy: “Withdraw or revise the decree on NGOs”

In a letter addressed to Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mihatovic called on the Italian government to consider canceling or revising Decree Law 1/2023, on the management of migratory flows in the Mediterranean and relations with NGOs.

Law contrary to international law

In fact, according to Mihatovic, the provisions contained in the decree law would be in conflict with Italy’s obligations under human rights and international law, as they could hinder the search and rescue operations of migrants crossing the Mediterranean by the non-governmental organizations. Particularly under the magnifying glass of the EU Council, the fact that the decree in practice assigns NGOs safe landing places far from where people are rescued, such as the ports of Central and Northern Italy, in what is, according to the commissioner “one of the deadliest routes in the Mediterranean”.

The request to suspend cooperation with Libya

Mihatovic also called on the Italian government to suspend cooperation with the Libyan one on interceptions at sea. An initial response to the Council of the Union from the Italian government was not long in coming, describing Commissioner Mihatovic’s fears as “unfounded”.