Italy: legislative proposal to extend length of detention for migrants must be rejected

The ICJ is concerned that an amendment introduced to new security legislation on administrative detention of  irregular migrants would contravene international human rights standards.

The ICJ calls for the proposed amendment to be withdrawn or rejected. The amendment to  Bill no. A.C. 2180  (Security Bill) was approved in the joint Constitutional Affairs and Justice Commissions of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, 28 April.

The ICJ recalls that  a  similar provision was previously rejected by the Senate in consideration of the same Bill and by the House of Representatives in the conversion of Law Decree no. 11/2009.

The ICJ made representations to the joint Commissions and to the Members of the House of Representatives stressing that the provision threatens to undermine the right to liberty of irregular migrants by allowing for their prolonged detention even though they have not been accused of or charged with criminal offences.

The ICJ stresses that under international standards and the principle of proportionality administrative detention of irregular migrants  may be  used only exceptionally and where strictly necessary and only if no less intrusive measures are available. Any deprivation of liberty must not be prolonged and must be subject to judicial review.

The ICJ welcomes the decision by the Commission to withdraw the provision lifting a protection for health personnel that would have forced them, under risk of criminal prosecution, to inform State authorities about irregular migrants they came in contact with in the course of their professional activity.

An analysis of provisions of concern contained in the Security Bill is available in the ICJ’s submission to the House of Representatives on the Security Bill at:

Italy-Legislative proposal to extend length of detention for migrants must be rejected-web story-2009-ita (full text, PDF)

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