1.DESCRIPTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRAESIDIUM PROJECT
The Praesidium Project titled “Strengthening of reception capacity in respect of migration flows reaching the island of Lampedusa”3 was launched in 2006 by the Ministry of Interior, in partnership with the Italian Red Cross (CRI), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Between March 2007 and February 2008, the project4 was expanded to Sicily, with a view to strengthening the multi-agency approach developed in the first year and allowing the project partners to identify and provide assistance to the different categories of migrants, including vulnerable persons, in order to transfer them from Lampedusa to dedicated centres in Sicily.
As of February 2008, the project5 was extended to Save the Children Italy, due to the increase in flows of unaccompanied migrant children. At the same time, IOM and UNHCR extended their activities respectively to Sardinia, Calabria and Apulia.
The fourth phase of the project6 aimed to strengthen management capacity for mixed migration flows reaching, in particular, the Southern Italian border, and to consolidate the results achieved in the previous phases. As of the first half of 2009, said organizations decided, in agreement with the Ministry of Interior, to recast their intervention and extend their assistance activities to other regions, as a result of the policies adopted by the Italian government in relation to the management of mixed migration flows, which led to a drastic reduction in the number of migrants reaching Lampedusa by sea.
In 2010, the aforementioned organizations further broadened their scope of action and deployed their officers in other arrival sites and other areas of high migration pressure, such as the Marche region (Save the Children) and Campania (IOM), particularly in the Castelvolturno (Caserta) area.