Italy struggling to cope with estimated 170,000 asylum seekers

World Today

Italy is bearing with the brunt of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, with what the UN estimates are more than 170,000 migrants in Italian reception centers.

CGTN’s Kate Parkinson reports from Sicily.
Follow Kate Parkinson on Twitter @KTP_news

Nestled in the hills around the historic town of Siracusa, a restaurant turned reception center is now home to 180 asylum seekers.

Like other centers in Italy, it’s over capacity. One asylum seeker we spoke to says he has been here for 8 months, far longer than the 72 hours migrants are supposed to be.

The days are long and no one is allowed to work. They say they don’t know if or when they’ll be given residency papers or a more permanent home.

The reality is that very few will be granted asylum.

“In the three years that I have stayed here, that I have worked here, only 9 people got asylum,” according to one of the asylum seekers. “So I think that it’s very difficult in the first step to get asylum. And I think the reason of this negative situation is because they are too much. “