This report from IRC Italy sheds light on the serious violations of basic rights faced by people seeking asylum in major Italian cities. Across Italy, individuals face prolonged waits while Immigration Offices handle their applications, or are turned away at police stations and told to "wait, please."

The report comes exactly one year since the Police Headquarters and the Prefecture of Milan launched a new online system to apply for international protection. This was designed to ease barriers to accessing the asylum procedure. But, in practice, discriminatory practices persist, with the system introducing new burdens for people applying for protection.

Today many people in Italy are stuck in an asylum vacuum, without proper documentation, work or accommodation - caught in a state of limbo that can last for up to eight months. This waiting period puts people in a vulnerable and uncertain position, highlighting the pressing need for more efficient and compassionate procedures to ensure timely registration and support. The sheer volume of asylum applications - 13,000 filed in January 2024 alone - underscores the pressing need to act.  

The Italian state must urgently resolve obstacles to the submission of requests for international protection, and establish minimum standards so that people are properly taken care of while their claims are being assessed.