500 Syrian refugees arrived in Italy thank to humanitarian corridors

Syrian refugees in Fiumicino airport, Rome, the 3rd of May of 2016 Syrian refugees in Fiumicino airport, Rome, the 3rd of May of 2016 Telenews/Ansa

20 December 2016
500 refugees, including many children, arrived in Italy during 2016- via “Humanitarian Corridors” project.

The pilot project,  financed by the Community of Saint Egidio, the Italian Federation of Evangelical Churches and the Tavola Valdese and supported by various associations and individuals kicked off at the beginning of 2016,. MOre than a thousand of refugees are expected to arrive in Italy over the next two years, in accordance with an agreement between the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Interior, which will issue visas valid only in Italy, and not across the Schengen area.

The associations identify families or individuals in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Morocco and Ethiopia who urgently need to reach Europe, singling out  the most vulnerable, usually from countries mired in wars, especially the Syrians. Once the refugees arrive in Italy, they are hosted in reception facilities, families and parishes in line with the widespread “hospitality model”.

The project epitomizes a vital and viable response to the migration crisis. Then, if they do not represent a comprehensive solution to the immigration conundrum, they doubtless exemplify an alternative approach to other parts of Europe that close their borders or build walls against immigrants. The project seeks to minimize the number of refugees taking perilous sea routes,  prevent traffickers from exploiting vulnerable refugees and providing the desperate not only with  a legal and safe entry into Italy  but also   medical care, education and integration opportunities upon their arrival.

However, Humanitarian Corridors highlight a paradox Similar to the ongoing sea rescue operations, NGOs (MSF, Moas, Sea Watch, to name a few) and conscientious individuals are increasingly taking on responsibility that should be assumed  by concerned governments.

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