The United Nation’s new human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has ordered a probe into the Italian government and citizens’ treatment of illegal newcomers.

In her first speech to the human rights council on Monday, Bachelet stated: “Italy’s decision to close its sea ports, denying entry to NGO rescue ships, had serious consequences on the most vulnerable.”

To actively oppose Italy’s current government, and the nation’s recent swing towards supporting stricter border control, the socialist former President of Chile will “send personnel to Italy to evaluate reports of a sharp increase in violence and racism against migrants” and alleged asylum seekers.

Switzerland UN Human Rights
Bachelet addresses the her human rights council in Geneva, credit: The Associated Press

In response, the deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini described the UN as “badly misinformed” on his country’s unique migrant crisis. “They should first focus on other members where fundamental human rights are being violated every day.”

However it is worth noting that in addition to this criticism of Italy (and Austria (cite), Bachelet called out China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Salvini went on to say, “The UN is an organization that costs billions of euros, to which Italy gives over 100 million every year … to fund waste, embezzlement, and theft for a body that wants to give lessons to Italians.

“Before doing checks on Italy, the UN should investigate its member States who ignore basic rights like freedom and equality between men and women”.

The Aquarius vessel, which has transferred migrants from Libya to Italy since 2016, credit:

Pro-mass-immigration politicians, NGOs and anti-racist groups in Italy accuse Salvini of ‘creating a climate of hate’.

They also warn of an ‘acceleration in attacks on immigrants‘ after 14 shootings, two murders and 56 physical assaults were recorded between June and September.

Italian police have denied allegations of a ‘racism emergency’.