ECHOES Issue 7, July 2023

While the situation in Libya did not improve, the conditions for refugees and migrants in Tunisia continuously worsened during the last few months. Against this background, more than 75.000 people made it to Italian shores until the middle of July 2023. On the 29th of June, a record number of 46 boats reached Lampedusa in a single day, mainly coming from Sfax. The arrival of so many people on the island forced the Italian government to accelerate the transfer process to the mainland.

Thousands of people on the move find themselves in a chaotic transit situation in southern Italy. Right when they were just able to overcome one of the deadliest border areas in the world, they are confronted with the attempts of the government to maintain control and filter out people for detention and deportation. Solidarity at sea and on land is needed to resist the racist selection and deterrence policies!

Since the beginning of the year 2023:

• 76.325 people arrived in Italy by boat, a significant number of whom arrived autonomously (UNHCR figure until the 15th of July).

• 6.134 people were rescued by the civil fleet from 99 boats in distress (CMRCC figure).

• 8.718 people were pushed back to Libya after they were intercepted by the EU-supported so-called Libyan Coast Guard (IOM figures until 8th July) and 32.792 people were intercepted by the Tunisian authorities. (FTDES figures until 30th June)

• 1.728 people who fled Libya died or are reported missing (IOM figures until 8th July) and 608 people who fled Tunisia died or are reported missing (FTDES figures untill 30th June).