ROME, NOVEMBER, 8 – The humanitarian corridors for Syrian refugees have “doubled up”. A new protocol was signed in Rome on Tuesday and it will allow a thousand Syrians in vulnerable condition to reach Italy safely and legally. The signature ceremony, confirming an Italian example of success in the policy access of migrants, took place at Palazzo del Viminale, headquarters of Italy’s Prime Minister and of the Ministry of Interior. “It’s a mosaic of creativity Italy must be proud of,” commented the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mario Giro.
By opening humanitarian corridors from Lebanon and Morocco, the protocol will be valid for two years, redoubling the valuable experience implemented with Syria two years ago. The first agreement was signed indeed at the end of 2015 and its current renewal will permit 1000 Syrian migrants to be transferred to Italy under security and legal conditions, both for the beneficiaries and the host country.
In the framework of the European Union’s activities aiming at the resettlement of refugees, the Protocol is a milestone of the cooperation between the Italian Government and the civil society in projects facilitating the integration of people fleeing war and desperate living conditions with the direct involvement of local communities and no additional costs for the National Tax Agency of Italy, thanks also to the support of private citizens.
The Protocol was signed by representatives of the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and of the Interior, by the Community of Sant’Egidio as well as by the Federation of the Churches of the Evangelicals and the Tavola Valdese. “Through an innovative form of cooperation between civil society and institutions, humanitarian corridors represents today a model of humanitarian protection for the most vulnerable migrants”, declared the Director General for Italian Citizens Abroad and Migration PoliciesMaeci, Luigi Maria Vignali, highlighting that the Italian strategy is appreciated in Europe and all over the world. That is why, added Vignali, “it is important to renew this experience and promote it to other countries”.
The humanitarian corridors is a project ideated and carried out by the Community of Sant’Egidio in collaboration with the Federation of Evangelical Churches and the Waldensian and Methodist Churches, completely self-funded. The main goals of the programme are:
1. To stop journeys on the boats in the Mediterranean, which have already caused a high number of deaths, including many children;
2. To avoid human trafficking
3. To grant to people in “vulnerable conditions” ( victims of persecution, torture and violence, as well as families with children, elderly people, sick people, persons with disabilities) legal entry on Italian territory with humanitarian visa, with the possibility to apply for asylum.
It is a safe solution for all, because visa issuing procedures require all the necessary checks by Italian authorities. The aim of the iniative is to open new ways to safety access for refugees, who can avoid human trafficking and enter legally in Europe. Once in Italy, the refugees are welcomed in houses at the expense Sant’Egidio’s associations, ther are taught Italian language, their children are enrolled to school, and are helped to find a job.