[ 02. Nov 2012 ]

Betwixt and Between: Turin's CIE. Human rights investigation into Turin immigration detention centre

Cover: Betwixt and Between: Turin's CIE.

This report by the International University College of Turin examines the extent to which Italian, European and international human rights and migration law is applied in Turin's CIE, an immigration detention and expulsion centre in northern Italy.


"In my country there are troubles right now. Why do they put me in this centre? My family in Libya was affected a lot by the war in Libya. My brother was burnt alive and my father was killed. I escaped from Libya because of the war and I got to Tunisia. From Tunisia I left for Italy. - Interview 22"

This study was motivated by the fact that a number of institutions and organisations at local, national and international level have expressed concern about the current praxis of administrative detention of irregular migrants in Italy. The report was researched and written by post-graduate and undergraduate students attending the International University College of Turin Human Rights and Migration Law Clinic (HRMLC), under supervision from Mr Ulrich Stege and Avv. Maurizio Veglio. The HRMLC is run by the International University College of Turin in cooperation with the Faculties of Law of the University of Turin and the Eastern Piedmont University in Alessandria and in partnership with the Italian immigration lawyers network Associazione Studi Giuridici sulla Immigrazione (ASGI).

Please feel free to distribute this report amongst your network. If you wish, we would be extremely pleased to have our report published on or linked to your website. There is very little information available in English which documents the experiences of migrants in Italian administrative detention. We hope to be able to spread our legal findings and the testimonies from those detainees, professionals and volunteers who so generously offered their personal stories and their time to us. Therefore, we are also pleased to inform you that we are organising a conference in relation to this report, the details for which will be avaliable at in the upcoming weeks. Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us either via the email address ustege (at) or via telephone on +39 329 4054882.

Download the PDF version of the report :: here.

The CIE Research Project

:: The CIE Research Project is part of the :: Human Rights and Migration Law Clinic, a clinical legal training program run by the International University College of Turin in cooperation with the Associazione Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione (ASGI) and the Faculties of Law of the University of Turin and the Eastern Piedmont University in Alessandria.

In order to evaluate the application of human rights law in Turin's centre for identification and expulsion (Turin's CIE - centro di identificazione ed espulsione), the CIE Research Project conducted first-hand interviews focusing on experiences of detention that occurred between January 2011 and June 2012 inside Turin's CIE.

Betwixt and Between: Turin's CIE documents individual and systemic human rights issues and barriers to access to justice that are faced by detainees, their families and people who have direct contact with the CIE in a professional or voluntary capacity.

The study discovered a disturbing disconnect between the word of international, European and Italian law and the reality of judicial and legal processes surrounding the administrative detention of migrants. Moreover, the report provides a detailed analysis of the conditions of detention inside Turin's CIE.


"Over the course of our report we have found that the human rights violations at Turin's CIE are so endemic and pervasive that they call into question the very existence of such structures and at the very least require a concerted attempt at re-examining the purpose and intended functions of the CIE and the wide gap between the former and reality. We will refrain from enunciating a final opinion on the same, except to say that even within our research group there was no consensus as to what steps should be taken in the future. However, we did unanimously agree that the present state of affairs is singularly untenable. The medical facilities inside Turin's CIE are woefully inadequate, families are torn apart and the legal safeguards are respected more in the breach. The people inside CIEs are not serving time due to criminal punishment. Rather, they languish in these structures owing to a systemic lack of support from their country of nationality and their country of residence and they are in many ways stuck in limbo: betwixt and between."

Download the PDF version of the report :: here.

Source ::