The global humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF - Doctors Without Borders) on Tuesday lambasted the conditions at camps for refugees and migrants in Italy, labeling them "ineffective".
"The way migrant centres are run seems to be in great part ineffective," MSF said in a statement.
"More than 10 years after the centres for migrants were established in Italy, they are managed as if they were thought of as emergency camps" and are capable of "barely satisfying primary needs," it said.
Alessandra Tramontano, the head of medical services of MSF in Italy, lamented the poor standard of medical assistance in the "absence of the local and national health authorities."
Tramontano, giving the conclusions of a survey of 21 camps between December 2008 and August 2009, said some camps did not have toilet paper and soap while others were infested by rats.
MSF said the southern centres of Trapani and Lamezia Terme were "wholly inadequate" and should be shut down.
"The climate is increasingly hostile for immigrants in Italy, as the events in Rosarno clearly demonstrated," said the head of MSF's operations in Italy, Kostas Moschochoritis.
He was referring to violent clashes last month in Rosarno, southern Italy, between immigrant seasonal labourers and residents that left dozens injured.
The violence prompted more than 1,000 immigrants to leave the area, most on special buses arranged by the Italian authorities.