Why trying to enter Italy illegally could cost you your life

Men on lifeboat with sinking ship in background

The recent shipwreck that occurred not far away from the Italian coast, involving an African boat with more than three hundred souls onboard, most of which drowned, triggered once again a heated debate on the Italian law regulating this matter.

Put simply, the bill on immigration approved on 2002 forbids the act of bringing people who don’t have a visa for Italy onto Italian territory in any case.

That means, if you are fishing and spot a boat filled with starving people which is going to sink under their weight, decide to save them, bring them to the nearest hospital, and that hospital is incidentally on Italian territory, then you’ve just committed a crime.
Not to mention the seizure of the boat, which is ordered even in the case of bringing dead bodies ashore.

Hypothetical? Not really.

In 2004 a German ship saved 37 people from a sinking boat. The captain was arrested and trailed for aiding and abetting in illegal immigration.

To avoid such risks, crews often look the other way and decide not to rescue.

That’s why entering Italy illegally from the sea could cost you your life.


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About TheTuscan

I'm a full-time expat and a part-time traveler. I moved abroad to seek a better life. I travel the world to come into contact with places and cultures. Such a lifestyle has given me more wealth, fulfillment, and happiness. I'm the editor of AnyLatitude.com

Comments

  1. So sad! I sometimes feel that having borders, and needing passports and visas is an injustice to the human experience.
    Mike | Earthdrifter recently posted..Trekking in TayronaMy Profile

    • Probably it is… but letting people drown because it is the law… that’s against human rights, and by the way, against Italian constitution too.
      However, they’re considering repealing that shame.

  2. Rescue them and then deport.
    Victor Tribunsky recently posted..Inexpensive Holidays to Spain? How About Cordoba and Seville?My Profile

  3. That’s so tragic what happened. And it’s an absolute shame that attempting to rescue these people could result in prosecution. This must somehow violate EU human rights and hopefully this law is changed. Every country has shameful laws, thanks for shedding some light on this one!
    Alex-Wanderlust Marriage recently posted..Attending the world’s largest travel blog conference, TBEX Europe 2013My Profile

    • Actually it has not been easy for me to highlight such a shame about my native country. But it’s better to face this shit than hiding it under the carpet.
      According to several expert on Italian constitution, that bill does indeed violate Italy’s constitution. However, you don’t need to have a law degree to know that it is a violation of everywhere’s human rights.

  4. Good to know, thanks for the heads up. I will be visiting Italy this year.
    stacy recently posted..Paleo Cooking EssentialsMy Profile

  5. What a sad news. If only we can make do without borders.
    Judy Charlotte recently posted..Ruby Weight LossMy Profile

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