Posted on April 27, 2023

Dutch Court Bars Return of African Migrants to Italy

Mike Corder, Associated Press, April 26, 2023

The Netherlands’ top administrative court ruled Wednesday that immigration authorities can’t send migrants back to Italy, because they face possible human rights violations there — a decision that will likely put further pressure on the strained Dutch asylum system.

The ruling came in cases brought by two migrants, a Nigerian and a man who claims to be from Eritrea. Both entered Europe via Italy. {snip}

Successive Italian governments have pressed their European Union partners for years, largely in vain, to take in many of the hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers who reach Italy’s Mediterranean shores. Most risk the dangerous, expensive sea voyage in hopes of finding family or work in northern Europe, but EU rules require them to apply for asylum in the country where they landed.

The Dutch court said that, since December, Italian authorities have indicated that this rule should be suspended because of a lack of reception facilities for migrants in Italy.


The decision will likely serve as a precedent and prevent the return to Italy of other migrants who sought asylum in the Netherlands after traveling through Italy. {snip}