Italy announces humanitarian corridor to bring 500 migrants from Libya

Rome: Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese has announced the signing of a protocol to bring 500 people from Libya to Italy. She also called for Europe to hold “constructive dialogue” on migration.

The accord involves the UNHCR and will also be managed with Rome’s Community of Sant’Egidio and the Waldensians. Participants at the conference included Perugia-Città della Pieve Archbishop and Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) President Gualtiero Bassetti, and Community of Sant’Egidio President Marco Impagliazzo.

During the conference, Lamorgese reiterated some concepts that the Italian government has consistently defended. She said Europe needs a “constructive dialogue” because the problem of migration “cannot be handed over to arrival countries alone”.

“We have to make our reasons understood,” she said, speaking about Italy as well as other arrival countries such as Malta and Spain. “We have to explain what the difficulties are and what, in our opinion, doesn’t work,” she said.

Recalling that the upcoming EU Council, which was requested by Italian Premier Mario Draghi, will focus on migration, Lamorgese said she hopes to see “the principle of solidarity and responsibility.”

Regarding the dynamics in Italy, she said “rights and responsibilities go hand in hand,” and therefore work must be done not only to accommodate migrants but also to integrate them. “We have a working group for promoting the principles of integration and sharing.”

Bassetti says humanitarian corridors are salvation

The shared message that emerged from the conference is that humanitarian corridors are “salvation”, as highlighted by CEI President Bassetti, who spoke during the event.

“I really enjoy talking about humanitarian corridors because when you arrive in the corridor of your home, it’s as if you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s your salvation even if you’re tired,” he said.

“When there’s no integration, there’s indifference, and, as Pope Francis says, the throwaway culture,” he said.

Community of Sant’Egidio President Impagliazzo said humanitarian corridors for migrants “must become a general practice” because “it’s important to create legal ways to enter, above all through partnerships, because there are many jobs going unfilled.”