by Nicola De Felice

The role of NGOs

The 1,000 illegal immigrants from the NGO ships Geo Barents (Norwegian) and Sea Watch 3 (German) disembark in the middle of winter in Sicily. Since the beginning of 2021, 67,490 illegals have landed, twice as many as in 2020 and six times as many as in 2019.

In defiance of all international and EU maritime norms, NGO ships and their respective flag states (Norway, Spain, Germany) take advantage of Italy's weak political and diplomatic situation to impose their own migration policies, with the sole purpose of satisfying the hypocritical catholic-communist positions of their respective left-wing governments in those states. Not one migrant disembarks in Hamburg, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca or Oslo, not one NGO ship dangles in the English Channel where there are deaths at sea of migrants attempting to reach Britain.

The role of organized crime

Because of the pull factor, NGO ships are corresponsible for deaths at sea and indirect supporters of human trafficking, the most serious feature of the phenomenon of illegal immigration, a risk to national and international security, one of the most lucrative sources of income for organized crime. Both smuggling, i.e. the illegal introduction of migrants into the territory of a State, and trafficking, i.e. the sexual or economic exploitation in conditions similar to slavery, are based on the intensive exploitation of the migrant already during the journey and certainly at the end of it.

Criminal organizations now show a remarkable ability to adapt in the management of flows, diversifying routes, stages and means, using vessels of various types and sizes, vehicles for the transport of goods, ferries and airline flights, in relation to the type of ethnicity of the victims or for strategic choices such as the evasion of controls or pressure for relief operations with NGO ships, covered or colluded with their flag states. These criminals are involved in the conduct of other crimes, from drug trafficking to crimes such as extortion, robbery or fraud. There is no shortage of foreign movement of illicit proceeds, the use of couriers and prohibited systems for collecting and sending money.

What an extraordinary commissioner could do

Trafficking in human beings requires more complex action than the one implemented so far, it is not enough to relegate it to the sole competence of the Ministry of Interior. It must have the possibility of using all the instruments of national power, from the internal to the diplomatic, from the military to the economic, to the intelligence, to the health. It needs the competent and determined action, at national and international level, of an extraordinary Commissioner dedicated to this unique task.

The government should therefore appoint a commissioner with a special nature and sector-specific skills, with military experience, diplomatic experience in Africa, knowledge of Sicily and southern Italy, and knowledge of languages, appointed to achieve the goal of defeating human trafficking, in accordance with the guidelines approved by parliament or the Council of Ministers, with the authority to negotiate with the EU, with the transit countries and countries of origin of illegal immigrants, and with the ability to meet special needs in terms of direction and coordination of a number of public administrations. A decree of the President of the Republic shall be issued, after deliberation of the Council of Ministers, and the tasks, means and personnel granted as well as the duration of the office fixed.

Let's give space to responsible and competent people, determined to safeguard the interests of Italy and the Italians. Let's give space to a patriot.

Nicola De Felice

Senior Fellow of the Centro Studi Machiavelli. Admiral of division (res.), former commander of destroyers and frigates, he has held important diplomatic, financial, technical and strategic assignments for the Defence and Navy Chiefs of Staff, both at home and abroad, at sea and on land, pursuing the application of capabilities aimed at making the Italian defence and security policy effective.