ROME, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Managing migration is the key to preserving Italy's social fabric, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said Tuesday.
In remarks to the press following a meeting of the National Public Security Committee, Minniti outlined his strategy for dealing with the influx of men, women and children fleeing war and destitution in North Africa and the Middle East.
"On June 28 and 29 ... we had 27 ships request permission to dock in our country, which dropped off 12,500 migrants in 36 hours," Minniti said. "After that, we made managing the flows our objective, because unmanaged migration threatens the social and democratic fabric of Italy."
Minniti stressed that "the rights of those being received have the same weight as the rights of those doing the receiving."
Part of the strategy is the Italian government's code of conduct for the eight search-and-rescue NGOs operating along the Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy, the minister said.
So far, five of the humanitarian groups -- the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), Spain's Proactiva Open Arms, Save the Children, Sea Eye, and SOS Mediterranee -- have signed the EU-approved code.
Minniti added that the migrant flows are not an emergency but a structural phenomenon, and must be dealt with as such.
In July, the number of migrants arriving in Italy through the Central Mediterranean route from Libya fell by 57 percent compared to the previous month to 10,160, the lowest level for the month of July since 2014, according to EU border agency Frontex.
Total arrivals in Italy for the first seven months of this year stood at 93,900, roughly in line with the same period last year, Frontex reported.