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Italy pressed to abolish migrant quarantine ships

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Rome is facing pressure to abolish its offshore quarantine system for migrants and refugees following a series of alarming incidents, including several deaths, over the past year. 

POLITICO reports how since May, the Italian government has isolated asylum seekers on ships after they arrive, an approach designed to not only stem the spread of the coronavirus but also placate populists. 

Human rights advocates have questioned the legality of this practice.

This practice was also deployed by Malta.

We could no longer stand still, watching as passive spectators,” said Alessandro Luparello, head of Forum Antirazzista, a grassroots human rights association in Sicily that was among the signatories. “The use of quarantine ferries is discriminatory because it’s only aimed at a specific part of the population. Our demand is the abolition of this system.”

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