Italy leads Europe’s crackdown against African migrants


Migrants drowning at the Mediterranean Sea. Photo by AFP

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
Libya Bureau
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – THE upcoming meeting by Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and authoritarian rulers from the Middle East and North Africa is denounced as a new low in the European Union’s efforts to curb migrants’ arrivals.

The meeting between the far-right leader and the counterparts he has invited was held in the capital, Rome, on Sunday. Some European governments and representatives of international financial institutions are also set to attend.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that while details remain murky, the conference was expected to lay the groundwork for similar deals to the one struck with Tunisia, hailed by European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen as a “blueprint” for the region.

The controversial “Team Europe” deal with Tunisia’s autocratic leader, Kais Saied, foresees EU financial support and enhanced cooperation with Tunisia in exchange for the country containing departures of migrants and asylum seekers towards Europe.

“Regrettably, the deal only pays lip service to human rights and fails to acknowledge – let alone address – serious abuses against Black African migrants by Tunisian authorities or attach any human rights conditions,” HRW’s Claudio Francavilla and Alice Autin jointly stated.

Francavilla is Senior EU Advocate and Autin the researcher for Europe and Central Asia Division as well as officer for Communications and International Justice Programme.

The advocates believe Europe has learned nothing from its complicity in the abuses of migrants in Libya.

They allege an intention to replicate the so-called Team Europe deal elsewhere in the region, notably with Egypt and Morocco.

HRW has urged European governments that care about human rights and international law to oppose the strategy, seen as abusive, ill-conceived and short-sighted.

“The alternative is not only a moral failure, but culpability in the continued suffering and deaths on Europe’s doorstep,” it stated.

– CAJ News

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