Tunisia: Migrant Girl Repatriated to Tunisia by Italian Authorities

by | Nov 25, 2022 | Diplomacy, Economic, Tunisia


On 24 November 2022, a four-year-old girl who arrived by boat without her family in Italy via an irregular migration route was returned to her family in Tunisia. The repatriation of the girl, referred to by some as “Linda,” came after several weeks of legal and diplomatic discussions between the Tunisian and Italian governments. Ultimately, the Italian authorities agreed to the girls’ return and accompanied her to the Tunis-Carthage Airport. The girl’s father reportedly left her in a smuggler’s boat to assist his wife and son and the boat departed before the three remaining family members could arrive.


The repatriation marks the avoidance of a diplomatic row between Italy and Tunisia. With the issue of irregular migration as a source of constant tension, this particular story had the potential to grow into a source of public frustration especially on the heels of the installation of the new conservative government led by Prime Minister Georgia Meloni in Italy. However, effective communication between the governments led to a mutually agreeable solution. That being said, the factors driving irregular migration from Tunisia remain unchanged.