Italy hosts conference to address illegal migration

World Sunday 23/July/2023 18:16 PM
By: DW
Italy hosts conference to address illegal migration

Rome: Italy on Sunday is hosting an international conference involving Mediterranean and Middle East states to address some of the causes of "irregular migration flows."

"The Conference aims to govern the migration phenomenon, combat human trafficking and promote economic development based on a new model of collaboration between states," the Italian government said in a statement.

Italy's government said that the conference had been "organized at the initiative" of Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, who promised during her 2022 election campaign to "stop the disembarkation" of migrants in the country.

The full list of participants attending the International Conference on Development and Migration in Rome is unknown, although far-right Prime Minister Georgia Meloni confirmed the attendance of Tunisian President Kais Saied.

The prime ministers of Egypt and Malta will also be attending.

Italy's migrant clampdown
Meloni's administration has tried to clamp down on humanitarian ships rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean by passing legislation compelling vessels to head to port immediately following a rescue.

Italian authorities have also ordered rescue vessels to sail to ports hundreds of kilometers away.

Meloni has said the measures were taken to stop charity vessels from becoming "ferry boats" for migrants.

Tunisia offered funds
Italy along with the European Commission have increased engagement with Tunisia and have promised funding if the country — where many migrants embark — takes measures to curb movement from its territory.

Last week the EU signed a memorandum of understanding with Tunisia, a step towards a proposed a €900 million ($971 million) economic aid package for the country, as well as another €150 million in immediate budget assistance and a further €105 million for border management and anti-smuggling activities.

According to figures from UN agency, the International Organization for Migration, there have been 109,688 arrivals in Europe so far in 2023, and there have been 2,153 deaths or instances of missing people.

During 2022 there were 189,620 arrivals and 2,965 deaths or instances of missing people.