Immigration centres with fingerprint acquisition

Ue normative actuation with immigrants fingerprint management systems

One year ago, in May 2017, was given the go-ahead for the use of digital fingerprints as a means of identification of immigrants and asylum applicants who pass through the many immigration centres in Italy and throughout Europe. However, problems due to the different collection systems used in the early years are now arising, which as a matter of fact do not allow an easy data research and comparison.

In 2017, the Committee on Civil Liberties commented on the revision of the Eurodac system, the database with the digital fingerprints of the asylum applicants.

MEPs voted so that the Europol could have direct access to Eurodac, in order to prevent terrorist attacks and common crimes. It has been a watershed moment which gave the go-ahead for the systems of fingerprints acquisition, also for children aged more than 6. In the regulation, MEPs specify that “the digital fingerprints have to be taken in an appropriate way, by staff who has received a sensitive training towards minors”, that “the minor will have to be accompanied by a responsible adult” and that detention will be forbidden, too.

Stopping the minors disappearances

The new system wants to stop the spread of minors disappearances from the reception centres; in addition to the digital fingerprints the system should make possible the research and comparison of facial images and other personal data, such as the name and number of the identity document.
Regarding the theme of non-accompanied foreign minors, Unicef and Cnr-Irpps, the Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies, presented the report “Lost”: in 2016 28.223 people landed on Italian coasts, for a total of 181.436 people. The figure exceeds the ones registered in the previous years, and the number of minors whose tracks were lost after their arrival is growing too: in 2016, 6.508 disappeared into thin air. In 2012, they were 1.754. Most of them are Egyptians, Eritreans, Somalians and Afghans.

A qualitative leap is needed

2018 - In its periodic report, the Migrant Committee is clear: a qualitative leap is needed. After a careful analysis of the existent databases, both at Italian level (managed by the different Administrations in charge: first of all, those of the Ministry of the Interior, but also of the Ministries of Justice, of Health, of Foreign Affairs, of Labour, as well as Inps, Inail etc. ) and at European level (in particular the Interpol database, the SIS (Schengen Information System) - the collection and digital fingerprints identification systems – respectively EURODAC and AFIS - and the VESTANET- information database); unfortunately they are databases created in different times, to face the specific needs of the single Administrations, updated with different timing, and not immediately intended to their disclosure, which do not allow their comparability and immediate understanding.