Tunisia: Irregular Migration – About 5,000 People Missing in Italy Over Last Ten Years

Tunis/Tunisia — The number of Tunisians missing in Italy as a result of irregular migration operations amounted from 2011 to the end of October 2021 to about 5,000 people, said Imed Soltani, president of the association “La terre pour tous”.

Speaking at a press conference of the families of the missing held on Thursday at the headquarters of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), Soltani added that the Tunisian government does not have the exact number of Tunisians missing in Italy as a result of irregular migration and that the available figures date back to the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 and only mention 500 missing persons.

He stressed that the fate of the missing in particular, in Lampedusa, remains unknown, expressing surprise at the continued marginalisation of this issue by successive governments in Tunisia.

He held the President of the Republic responsible for not opening this “urgent” file, and for not having developed a clear vision to solve its various problems.

For her part, Head of the Association “The Fate of the Mediterranean Youth”, Mounira Chagra, said that the latest statistics of the Italian Ministry of Interior indicate that the number of Tunisians who entered the Italian territory since early October 2021 and until November 20 amounts to about 15 thousand people including 2073 minors and 170 women.

She called on the President of the Republic to create a committee within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of the search for the missing Tunisians as well as a listening cell for the mothers of the missing.

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