Rome, Sep 28 (IANS): Italy's Council of Ministers has approved a new policy to strengthen its immigration regulation, potentially removing special age-related protections for young asylum seekers.
The move is the latest in a series of reforms aimed at curbing the increasing influx of migrants arriving in Europe -- most of them to Italy's shores, reports Xinhua news agency.
Under the new policy, authorities will be allowed to assess the age of unaccompanied new arrivals.
If these individuals are calculated over the age of 16, they may be placed in adult detention centers that are already filled beyond capacity.
Prior to this change, children arriving in Italy without a guardian were afforded special protections under a European Union (EU) policy enacted six years ago.
Additionally, this initiative empowers authorities to deport foreigners deemed to pose a risk to public order or national security.
Last week, the government granted border officials the authority to detain individuals in detention centers for up to 18 months.
According to data from the International Organization for Migration, nearly 200,000 migrants arrived in the EU by land and sea so far this year.
Of these arrivals, around two-thirds have landed in Italy.