December 9, 2022

Raven Tribune

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Outrage over conditions: The settler camp at Lampedusa was dismantled

As of: 07/10/2022 4:36 PM

An overcrowded and littered migrant camp on the Italian Mediterranean island of Lampedusa is set to be dismantled and cleaned up. Conditions at the initial reception center met with harsh criticism – including from the UN.

Italian authorities have begun evacuating the Lampedusa refugee camp. In the morning, a navy ship brought 600 migrants from the small Mediterranean island between Tunisia and southern Italy to Porto Empedocles in Sicily. The ship returned to pick up 600 more people.

Rome’s Ministry of the Interior responded to the latest reports and developments on Lampedusa with a corresponding instruction. A vessel belonging to the Finance Police was also requisitioned for transportation.


At the end of last week, 1,800 people were counted in the refugee hotspot – the camp actually has room for only about 350 people. As many new refugees from North Africa are expected in Lampedusa in the new week, the camp must be evacuated and cleaned as soon as possible.

By Tuesday, all the people must be distributed to other camps in Italy, announced the mayor of Agrigento in Sicily, whose province the island of Lampedusa belongs to, the Ansa news agency reported.

There will be room for about 350 people – 1800 people were counted in the camp last week.

Image: AFP

“The Shame of Lampedusa”

Reports of the conditions at the reception center caused quite a stir. The former mayor of Lampedusa, QC Nicolini, posted pictures and a video of the camp on Facebook. People can be seen lying on old foam mattresses, some of them outside, overflowing garbage cans and mountains of garbage in the aisles. People include pregnant women and children. “The pictures could be from Libya. But no, it’s Italy,” Nicolini wrote.

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Flavio Di Giacomo of the Mediterranean Office of the UN Organization for Migration (IOM) tweeted about “Shame on Lampedusa”. On Sunday, the problem was not the number of people, but the poor distribution system. The Interior Ministry in Rome recorded that more than 30,000 people arrived on Italian beaches this year – including Lampedusa – by boat by the weekend.