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First batch of migrants transferred as Italy begins to close asylum centre


50 migrants have been transferred to smaller structures in Italy, Europe’s largest asylum centre.

The center is preparing to shut down following a legislation passed by the Italian government to stop housing asylum seekers. The transfer begun on Thursday, February 7.

“By the end of February we expect 150 people to go and that means if this continues by four or five months who should be able to complete emptying out the centre? “, said Francesco Magnano, Director of Cara Mineo Centre.

Over 1,000 migrants live at the Cara Mineo, near Catania in Sicily. Most of them arrived illegally into the country by boat. But now all of them will be transferred elsewhere in Italy.

Italian Interior Minister and right-wing League party leader, Matteo Salvini fought to pass the law, which eliminates humanitarian grounds for granting asylum to refugees.

Under its humanitarian asylum, protection was granted to those who had ‘’ serious reasons’‘ to flee their country, often homosexuals fleeing anti-gay laws in Africa.

Italy will still award asylum to war refugees or victims of political persecution.

In 2017, more than 20,000 people or 25 percent of asylum seekers, got humanitarian protection.


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