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UN rights council hears Italy on migrants, Roma

Geneva, 10.2.2010 23:21, (DPA)

Italy came under criticism Tuesday at the United Nations' Human Rights Council in Geneva for its record on migration, minorities and the independence of the judiciary.

The country was coming under scrutiny as part of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the council, which checks each UN member-state's rights record once every four years.

A delegation from Rome, headed by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincenzo Scotti, said the government would present a bill to parliament to ratify the European convention against trafficking in people.

Violent and racist incidents against migrants and minorities, including the Roma and Sinti peoples, also known as 'gypsies,' were being investigated, the delegation of 25 people said.

Italy's refusal to accept certain migrants and asylum seekers, including those already on vessels at sea, and the forced eviction of other non-citizens were criticized by some states.

Questions regarding the media's independence as well as that of the judiciary too were raised in the review process.

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