The mayor of Lampedusa says the island is "almost alone" in dealing with the arrival of hundreds of migrants from northern Africa.
More than 100 migrants have arrived on the small Mediterranean island in the last few days.
The main reception centre was built to accommodate 250 people, but is currently overpopulated and houses more than 1,000.
Mayor Filippo Mannino said that while stricter rules for migration issues are needed, the humanitarian situation shouldn't be lost.
"Meanwhile, people continue to arrive and we continue to manage the phenomenon in an emergency way and not in a structural way, as it should be done," Mannino said.
"Lampedusa finds itself almost alone in managing at the very least a phenomenon that has now reached epochal proportions".
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 2,800 migrants have died en route to Italy or Malta from Libya or Tunisia since January last year -- an increase on the previous period.
Italy's new Interior Minister has stated that NGO rescue ships will no longer be allowed to enter Italian territorial waters.
On Wednesday, protesters demonstrated in Rome against the renewal of an agreement between Libya and Italy, which provides support at detention centres in northern Africa for those who are caught trying to illegally cross to Europe.
NGOs have long stated that human rights are blatantly violated at these detention centres in Libya.