The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has asked for access to migrants landing illegally in Italy so that the agency can ensure that genuine refugees are not being expelled along with illegal migrants. As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, Italy began turning away illegal immigrants arriving from North Africa this weekend as part of an emergency effort to stop the flood of immigrants.
According to Raymond Hall, Director of UNHCR's Regional Bureau for Europe, "we recognise the very strong pressures that these continuing arrivals are generating, but all those who request asylum should have access to a fair procedure to assess their possible protection needs under the 1951 Refugee Convention." UNHCR has this press release. UNHCR reports that Italy has not yet responded to the request for access. BBC News has more.