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Italian Senate Approves Controversial Plan to Transfer Migrants to Albanian Centers - 108 Views

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Italian Senate Approves Controversial Plan to Transfer Migrants to Albanian Centers

A contentious proposal, agreed upon by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her Albanian counterpart in November, to relocate boat migrants to Italian-administered centers on Albanian soil has secured approval in the Italian Senate. The plan, passed with a vote of 93 to 61, had previously received approval in the lower house of parliament.

Critics, including Italy’s opposition and human rights groups, have derided the initiative, dubbing it “Italy’s Guantanamo Bay.” The primary point of contention revolves around Albania not being a member of the European Union (EU), which means it is not bound by EU guidelines regarding the detention, treatment, and deportation of asylum seekers.

Under EU law, immediate deportation of migrants or refugees is prohibited until their asylum applications are processed. Albania, being outside the EU, is not obligated to adhere to these rules.

The proposed centers, funded by Italy and staffed with Italian civil servants, are intended to process up to 3,000 asylum applications per month. The accord specifies that migrants and potential refugees to be transferred to Albania would be those rescued by Italian military assets such as the Coast Guard and Navy ships, excluding those rescued by NGOs. Additionally, the plan excludes women and children from being sent to Albania. The passage of this plan raises concerns about potential human rights implications and the broader management of migration in the region.

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