Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on September 19 said she will call for international help over her country’s migration crisis, describing it as an issue akin to the barbarity of slavery.
Meloni is due to speak to the UN General Assembly on the topic on September 21.
The Italian government, struggling with a surge in arriving migrants, On September 18 passed measures to lengthen the time they can be detained and ensure more people who have no legal right to stay are repatriated, government officials said.
The move came after almost 10,000 migrants reached the southern Italian island of Lampedusa last week, dealing a blow to the credibility of the right-wing Meloni, who won office last year vowing to curb illegal immigration.
Almost 130,000 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year, according to government data, nearly double the figure for the same period of 2022.
Migrants belong to Guinea, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
(Inputs from Reuters)