A new report has been published by the Danish Refugee Council and the Swiss Refugee Council stating that Italy is not a suitable destination for vulnerable Dublin Returns. The Italian Government is not fulfilling the guarantees it made after the decision in Tarakhel v. Switzerland in 2014 which should ensure that families with minor children will be accommodated in a SPRAR centre upon return to Italy under the Dublin III Regulation. However, none of the six families with minor children interviewed for the report had been given access to SPRAR centres when they arrived.
The Danish Refugee Council and the Swiss Refugee Council find that it is clear, that there is a real risk of vulnerable Dublin returnees not being provided with adequate reception conditions upon arrival in Italy, exposing them to a risk of ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 of the ECHR and Article 4 of the EU Charter of fundamental rights.
The likelihood of ill-treatment has only increased since the ‘Salvini Decree’, which has immediately resulted in the expulsion of 26 people with Humanitarian Protection from their housing, and has put thousands more people at risk.
In total the report contains 13 case studies of people returned under Dublin with different vulnerabilities, including single-parent families, individuals suffering from mental disorders and victims of violence.
Most of the monitored vulnerable Dublin returnees had to sleep on the streets upon arrival in Italy and gained access to reception centres or other shelters only as a result of their participation in the DRMP, as the DRMP’s interviewers often intervened on their behalf. Upon gaining access to reception conditions, these were often far from adequate to meet their special reception needs, in some cases due to the lack of access to specialised health care.
Some countries are now reviewing their Dublin Returns policy to Italy. It seems clear that in an increasingly right wing environment, even those who are most vulnerable will not be cared for by the state. All Dublin Returns to Italy should be halted until the authorities can provide adequate reception, but this is unlikely to happen under the current government.