Al Jazeera
July 2014

Italy's disappearing migrants

CATANIA, ITALY — They've been coming here for years, by the ship-full, risking perilous Mediterranean waters in crafts that are seldom seaworthy or suited for the number of people packed onto them.

Their numbers have been spiking since the Arab Spring uprisings began in 2011. More and more migrants, mostly from Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, have been arriving on the shores of southern Italy.

According to Amnesty International, 63 percent of those arriving "irregularly" by sea to the continent in 2013, were from Eritrea, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia - countries rife with violence and rights abuses.

Catania mayor calls for EU help with migrants Statistics from the Italian Ministry of the Interior show that in 2013 most of them were in fact Eritrean (9,834) and Syrian (11,307).

Yet the number of asylum requests in Italy from those two countries is fairly low for the same year: 695 from Syria and 2,216 from Eritrea.  read more →