Italy Clears Overcrowded Shelter on Lampedusa

Italy has started transferring migrants from Lampedusa to Sicily. The shelter on Lampedusa Island is built for 350 residents. A former mayor of Lampedusa reported on Facebook yesterday that the number of residents had risen to 2100.

โ€œEven women, children, the sick and those in need of care sleep on the floor, wherever they eat in the trash,โ€ she wrote. โ€œThere are less than 200 beds.โ€

She also posted photos. It shows that residents are lying on foam mattresses, in a heavily polluted environment. โ€œThese could be photos from Libya,โ€ wrote the former mayor. โ€œBut no, its Italy.โ€

The Ministry of Interior then sent a naval ship to transfer the first 600 migrants to Sicily. From there, they are spread further across Italy. On Monday, the center on Lampedusa must be completely vacated. It is not clear if it will be put back into use afterwards.

According to the Ministry of Interior, 30,000 migrants from North Africa have already crossed by boat to Italy this year. In the same period last year, there were 22,700 and 7500 the year before, and some of these migrants arrive at Lampedusa, which is closest from Libya.

It is a dangerous journey, for which the migrants have paid hundreds of dollars to traffickers.