Tunisia: Diplomatic Row Continues as Italy Refuses Repatriation for Young Irregular Migrant

by | Oct 29, 2022 | Diplomacy, Economic, Security, Tunisia


Through the week of 24 October a diplomatic row between Italy and Tunisia has continued to unfold. Italy has thus far refused to grant repatriation to Tunisia of a four-year-old girl who arrived in Italy on a smuggler’s boat without her family. The family faces legal charges in Tunisia, but the Tunisian government has requested the girl’s return, which Italy has thus far refused.

Our Outlook:  

As evidenced recently by protests and public outcry over irregular migration in Zarzis, these incidents have significant potential to lead to civil unrest that may result in a degraded security environment. Given that tensions already exist between Italy and Tunisia regarding irregular migration, the issue of the girl’s return to Tunisia has the potential to incite public frustrations that would likely be further fueled by the same conditions pressing Tunisians into the irregular migration attempts in the first place. While there is potential for a legal settlement to the issue, it is one to watch closely as the girl’s harrowing story may draw attention and ire from Tunisians disappointed in how migration issues are being handled.