The Italian Ministry for Home Affairs recently released some interesting statistics on the situation of asylum in the country. This post is largely based on these data, available here and here.
At the end of January 2016, 104.750 migrants were hosted in reception centres throughout the country against 67.128 in February 2015.
The migrants are distributed among Italian regions according to the size of their population: Lombardia and Sicilia host the most (13% and 12% respectively), followed by Lazio, Piemonte, Campania and Veneto with 8% each. The reception centres can be extremely diverse.
There is the “ordinary reception system” which includes big governmental centres (so-called CARA or first-phase reception centres) and small centres or apartments (second-phase reception centres: the “SPRAR” system which is run by municipalities in collaboration with NGOs); and then there is the “extraordinary reception system” which is again composed of big centres (including hotels, bed & breakfasts, former military barracks, etc.) and small centres or apartments.
Paradoxically, at the end of 2015, the “extraordinary system” was actually hosting around 70% of the migrants.
Applications and rates of recognition
In 2015, 86.722 applications for asylum were registered in Italy with a peak of 11.071 in September. In January 2016, 7.505 claims were lodged (a sharp increase compared to 5.478 claims in January 2015), especially from Pakistanis (1.510) and Nigerians (1.306). Among the top 10 countries of origin we also find Afghanistan (665), Gambia (625), Senegal (390), Bangladesh (360), Ivory Coast (327), Mali (307), Ukraine (249) and Guinea (242).
In January 2016, the percentage of positive decisions at first instance was 34% (3% refugees, 11% subsidiary protections, 20% humanitarian protection) whereas denials accounted for 66%. This is a remarkable increase from January 2015 when less than half of the applications were rejected (48%).