Humanitarian Corridors in France: a new agreement for the entry of 300 refugees

Leaders of Sant'Egidio and Semaines Sociales with the Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs

The Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs of France, together with the leaders of the Community of Sant'Egidio and the Semaines Sociales de France, have signed in Paris the renew of the protocol for the Humanitarian Corridors.

The agreement lays down the conditions for the identification, reception and integration in France - in the next two years - of 300 refugees currently in Lebanon, from Iraq and Syria, with priority to vulnerable people and families.This second protocol follows the first one, signed in 2017, which has already allowed, with the same criteria, the entry of 504 people into France.

Launched in Italy in February 2016, the Humanitarian Corridors have already welcomed in Europe - particularly in Italy, France, Belgium and Andorra - over 3,500 refugees fleeing from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ethiopia and Lesbos. Promoted by the Community of Sant'Egidio, together with different partners - such as the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy and the Italian Bishops' Conference - and self-financed, the Humanitarian Corridors are now a concrete and replicable model at European level.

The stories of those who have safely arrived show it is possible not only to save those who risk falling into the hands of human traffickers, but also to start positive pathways of integration. Especially in this time of pandemic, full of all kinds of difficulties - just think of the situation in some countries of first reception, such as Lebanon itself - it is important not to leave alone the many refugees waiting, with their families, for a response of solidarity.

Humanitarian Corridors - thanks to the generosity of so many citizens - show that it is possible to build a Europe consistent with its ideals of humanism and solidarity.