ITALY/EUROPEAN UNION, by Álvaro Real, vía Aleteia.org •
700 people have been taken in during the last year, thanks to the humanitarian corridor made possible by the San Egidio Community. This is a record number if we take into account the statistics of refugees being taken into European Union countries. This initiative has made it possible to take in more refugees in 2016 than those taken in by the 15 countries of the European Union.
This project has had unprecedented success after just one year in existence, and allows refugees to arrive in Europe legally and safely. Thanks to an agreement with Italy, San Egidio finances the costs of the refugees’ arrival and is collaborating to ensure security and the approval of visas.
However, San Egidio’s help does not end there. They also offer solutions for the refugees’ integration in the country: Italian lessons, help with bureaucratic matters, involvement in their communities.
According to an article in The Huffington Post [in Italian], the founder of San Egidio, Andrea Ricardi explains the success of the humanitarian corridor and the integration of refugees over the last year. “They are able to understand Italian, some are already in a position to be integrated into the world of work, their children are attending our schools and their presence in Italy has produced more advantages than difficulties.”
Welcome, protect, promote integrate
Upon receiving the participants of the 6th International Forum on Migration and Peace on 21 February, Pope Francis said:
“In the majority of cases this movement is forced, caused by conflict, natural disasters, persecution, climate change, violence, extreme poverty and inhumane living conditions.”
“Before this complex panorama, I feel the need to express particular concern for the forced nature of many contemporary migratory movements, which increases the challenges presented to the political community, to civil society and to the Church, and which amplifies the urgency for a coordinated and effective response to these challenges.”
“Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.”
Also visit the San Egidio page
What are the Humanitarian Corridors (Spanish)
Original: Spanish. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa