SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, 4th PERMANENT COMMISSION (DEFENCE), XVII LEGISLATURE, 112th MEETING, 21 JANUARY 2015.
On 21 January 2015, the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Angelino Alfano, intervened in the Italian Senate in order to answer a parliamentary question concerning, inter alia, the actual purposes of the Triton mission undertaken on the European maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea. Mr Alfano recalled that:
Triton is a surveillance mission on the maritime boundaries of the European Union, carried out by the Frontex agency together with many European states with the purpose of preventing irregular migration and the activities of those responsible for human trafficking, and coordinated in Italy by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
He then stated:
It is absolutely evident that the ships involved in the Triton operation are under the obligation, whenever they have information about a craft carrying people at risk of their lives, to rescue them, irrespective of their nationality. Rescued migrants are conducted to Italy, except when they have been found in the territorial waters or the contiguous zone of Malta. Compliance with the principle of non-refoulement, however, is assured.
The full text of the statement (in Italian) can be downloaded here.