On 27 August 2023, the 168 people disembarked in Brindisi following the rescue operation carried out during rotation 37. August 2023
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Warnings of a predictable failure on Lampedusa were ignored

On Friday, September 15, 2023

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Despite major efforts to improve initial reception conditions on the island and speed up the transfer of people to the mainland, the chronic difficulties require more structural interventions – including improvements in the coordination mechanisms of sea rescue and the reception system.

There are no easy solutions, but the obstinacy with which harsh policies have been pursued in recent years, solely oriented towards stopping landings and removing the migration issue from the political agenda, has led us down a blind alley. Italy is not a country under siege, but mainly a transit country unable to manage this flow of people,” says Marco Bertotto, director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) programmes in Italy.

The emergency approach, which for too many years has characterised the Italian governments' response to the structural phenomenon of human mobility, has done nothing but generate new emergencies. Italy is once again in trouble because its security-focused, sometimes ideological response, even after tragedies such as Cutro, continues to follow the logic of pure deterrence. Meanwhile, agreements of dubious morality with Libya and Tunisia have demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the externalisation policies adopted at European level.

Lampedusa has been turned into a single landing point following the boycott of a coordinated sea rescue mechanism. In addition, since 2018, the reception system has been progressively degraded and today does not allow for an effective response to the increase in arrivals. Long-term solutions are needed that respect the principles of solidarity and reception as well as the rights of people on the move," concludes MSF's Bertotto.

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