italy sicily refugees Syrian migrants

Italy - Sicily. Invisible exiles
Photos: Carlo Bevilacqua
While tourists go to Sicily every year to spend their holidays on the beach, hundreds of migrants arrive by pontoons, inflatable boats, launches, often towed behind police boats. Once they get to the mainland they become illegal immigrants or in most cases embark upon a bureaucratic odyssey: living like ghosts subject to thousands of procedures. After drawing media’s attention and being checked by police and security forces looking for potential terrorists, they disappear in centres with obscure names whose acronyms should indicate a supposedly welcoming atmosphere, such as C.A.R.A., Identification Centre for Asylum Seekers, C.P.S.A., First Aid and Identification Centre and C.I.E, Identification and Expulsion Centre. This is ordinary life for people migrating to Italy, although this year, due to the Syrian civil war, new migrant routes have been created and boats full of migrants arrive from Turkey rather than North Africa. Smirne has become the new place of departure for boats full of Syrian, Egyptian, Iranian, Afghani, Pakistani and Indian refugees. These are routes coexisting with well-known beaten tracks from Egypt or Libya for refugees fleeing war zones and looking for a new life away from their countries of origin: Niger, Egypt, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, to name just a few. Where do these people end up to? Would it be possible to protect their rights as refugees rather than abandoning them in a bureaucratic desert?
italy sicily refugees Syrian migrants
International photojournalism