46 refugees arrive in Rome from Lesbos through humanitarian corridor
By Vatican News staff writer
46 refugees and asylum seekers, amongst them families and individuals – including 3 unaccompanied minors, the youngest a Syrian boy of about 12 years – arrived in Rome on Tuesday morning.
They come from different countries: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and South Sudan, and have spent many months, in some cases years, at the refugee camps in Greece. Many of them have endured difficult journeys through Africa, Asia or the Middle East, suffering mistreatment, exploitation and violence.
Their arrival in Rome from Lesbos, Greece is thanks to the Humanitarian Corridors, a project promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio together with public authorities and other organizations in Italy and France, to allow refugees, especially the most vulnerable, to safely reach Europe.
Welcome and integration
The 46 newly-arrived persons will be welcomed in different regions of Italy to facilitate their integration, including Lazio, Campania, Lombardy, Marche, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily and Veneto.
For the minors, the integration process will include immediate enrolment in school, while for the adults, the opportunity to learn the Italian language, and once refugee status is obtained, insertion into the working world.
The Pope’s closeness to refugees and migrants
The Holy Father has often demonstrated his closeness to migrants and refugees, calling repeatedly for their protection and the respect of their human rights.
In April 2016, Pope Francis returned back to the Vatican with 12 Syrian refugees after his visit to the Moria refugee camp on Greek island of Lesbos, in a symbolic gesture to call the attention of the world to the plight of vulnerable migrants and refugees.
The Pope is scheduled to make a return to Lesbos during his planned Apostolic Journey to Cyprus and Greece from 2-6 December.