CEC Office of Communications
Press Release No. 10/18e
15 April 2010


Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) Press Release


“Criminalisation of Migrants and surge of racism alarming phenomena” CCME tells Italian Parliament


CCME Executive Committee raises human rights concerns with President, Human Rights Commission of houses of Parliament


The Executive Committee of the Churches´ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) met today with the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and the Human Rights Commission of the Italian Senate to raise concerns on recent Italian migration legislation. 


The CCME ExCom expressed particular concern on the so-called “security package”, a piece of legislation which entered into force in Italy last August and made irregular entry and residence a crime. In the meeting with Gianfranco Fini, president of the Chamber of Deputies,  the CCME ExCom highlighted that the criminalization of migration contributed to an atmosphere of intolerance and racism against migrants and minorities, in particular Roma. The CCME delegation in this context commended the President of the Italian Camber of Deputies on the “Observatory on Xenophobia and Racism”, which the chamber had established last December. The CEC Central Committee statement “Concern for Migrants and Refugees in Italy” of December 2009 was brought to the attention of Mr Fini.  Fini underlined his commitment to “to stop the spread of the disease of racism and xenophobia”.


In a joint hearing with the Human Rights Commission of the Italian Senate, the CCME ExCom raised concerns on the full and correct application of international law, in particular in the area of refugee protection. The current practice of the forced return of migrants, among the asylum seekers, to Libya as well as the practice of detention of migrants were in this context heavily criticised by members of the CCME ExCom.


Franca di Lecce, CCME Vice-Moderator and Director of the Refugee & Migrant Service of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy commented: “it is good to see that meetings with both houses of parliament signalled an openness to review some areas of great concern in Italian migration legislation. In our view, substantial changes to last year´s “security package” and current practice are urgently needed. The attention and support of churches across Europe in the area of human rights of migrants is a valuable encouragement to us ”




The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) is the ecumenical agency on migration and integration, asylum and refugees, and against racism and discrimination in Europe. Members are Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant Churches and Councils of Churches as well as church-related agencies across Europe. CCME formally cooperates with the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches.


For more information contact CCME
Tel. +32 486 575598