“This project is like a peace treaty because it will allow us to save many human lives” said the president of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, who commented this morning the opening of the first humanitarian corridors of refugees towards Italy.
It is the very first time that human corridors are open towards Italy. “In this way” Impagliazzo continued “who has the right can finally come into the country avoiding the so called ‘journeys of death’”. This is thanks to the signing of an agreement between the Community of Sant’Egidio, the federation of Evangelical Churches of Italy, the Waldesian Church and both the Home Office Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hence this project that has been launched will allow, one thousand refugees – in Morocco, Lybia and Ethiopia – to come to Italy with human rights VISAs funded by the aforementioned organizations.Therefore, without the economic help of the Italian government and – stresses Impagliazzo – with an improvement in the security “this is because the checks will be scrupulous and the fingerprints will also been recorded”.
The project of the humanitarian corridors has been described today in a press conference in the house of the Community of Sant’Egidio. It considers the entrance in Italy of individuals that are in vulnerable conditions such as women, children, human trafficking victims, older adults, disabled or ill people, and people recognized by the UNHCR as refugees. This project wants to become a “good practice” model that would be potentially replicable even in other European Countries.
From today onwards therefore, the offices in Morocco, Lybia and later on in Ethiopia will be opened to people coming from Syria, Ethiopia and other countries in the southern part of Africa.
All the travel costs – whether by boat or by plane –the hospitality costs and the legal assistance costs will be covered by the organizations, mainly with the “eight per thousand” of the Waldesian Church and with the funds of the Community of Sant’Egidio itself, which will also be supported by this year’s Christmas collection in the whole world. The refugees, will also be offered an integration program that consists of helping them learn the Italian language and find a job or register at school if the individual is a minor. “One thousand people (at the moment…hoping we can allow many more in the near future) will finally be taken away from a risk of dying in the sea, but also from the economic exploitation by the ‘merchants of men’” said Impagliazzo. It is also very important to do this ecumenical project with the evangelical communities in Italy just at the beginning of the jubilee of Mercy“