Italy reports 50% increase in migrant landings in 2023

Rome: The number of migrant landings reported in Italy in 2023 has increased by 50% compared to the previous year, the Italian interior ministry has admitted. This is despite the fact that the government has launched a series of initiatives and issued decrees to disincentivize migration.

Nearly 156,000 people reached Italy in 2023, including 17,000 unaccompanied minors, marking a 50% increase in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Overall, 155,754 people landed in Italy in 2023 compared to 103,846 over the course of 2022, according to data provided by the Italian interior ministry on December 29.

The month with the highest number of landings was August, when 25,673 people reached Italian shores.

Meanwhile, in the first few days of 2024, over 1,000 people have already reached Italian shores using irregular channels of migration.

According to government analysis, economic and political turmoil in Tunisia has turned the country’s shores into the number one point of departure for people leaving the African continent. The Tunisian coast guard has only had limited success in intercepting people headed for Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

The Italian government also believes that Russian Wagner mercenaries operating in West Africa contributed to the trend: its says that Wagner implemented a strategy funded by Moscow to exacerbate the migration situation on the continent, chiefly by destabilizing the region.

Authorities hope the impact of migration will ease in 2024 after an agreement was reached in the EU on a new pact on migration and asylum, which will entail a fairer distribution of asylum seekers within the European Union among other measures to be implemented.