An average of eight immigrants died every day in the central Mediterranean during the last four months, according to a report published today by an Italian think tank on the consequences of the Government's migration policy.
The document is entitled "Disembarkation in Italy: The cost of deterrence policies" and was published by the Institute for International Policy Studies (ISPI) when the Government of the anti-system Movement 5 Stars (M5S) and the far right League.
The text analyzes the situation by dividing it into three periods: the twelve months prior to the beginning of the reduction of landings (from July 2017), and the management of the former Minister of the Interior, Marco Minniti, and the current one, Matteo Salvini, leader of the league.
In the twelve months prior to July 2017, 532 immigrants arrived in Italy from North Africa, while in Minniti's time they did 117 a day and 61 do so at present with Salvini's policies.
But, while the arrivals are reduced, thanks to agreements with the authorities of Libya and the prohibition to disembark in Italy to the ships of the ONG promoted by Salvini, the dead and disappeared in the sea are increasing, according to this report, signed by the ISPI researcher Matteo Villa.
In this sense, the document argues that in the first period it is estimated that about 12 people died a day and in the Minniti stage as interior minister the figure was reduced to 3 immigrants each day.
However, "after 4 months of Salvini's policies there is a new and sharp increase in the number of deaths and missing persons", up to eight people a day according to the document, based on data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The author of the report raises the fact that with the policies of Salvini Italy has registered a reduction in the arrival of immigrants but, at the same time, there is a notable increase in the deaths and disappearances of those who try to reach the country.
Although it defends that the reduction of the disembarkations already was detected during the Government of the Democratic Party to which the minister Minniti belonged, reason why the fact that they arrive less immigrants in the country is not only merit of Salvini.
For this reason, the author calls for a reflection on the cost of decisions made in immigration policy and questioned the usefulness of Salvini's "deterrence policies", with a "relatively modest reduction" in landings and a "sharp increase in deaths and disappearances".
According to figures from the Italian Ministry of the Interior, so far this year, 21,041 immigrants have landed in Italy, 80.10% less than in the same period last year, and of those 12,389 arrived after sailing from Libya .