The First Thousand Immigrants Rescued By Italy through Humanitarian Corridors

Marco Impagliazzo – Huffington Post

One thousand are the point to begin and give Europe a new soul. A thousand immigrants will be saved. These ones will not start that journey of death, among the waves of the Mediterranean Sea for the salvation of their lives and the lives of their families. It seems a little effort, but it is a great deal. Today, the Italian humanitarian corridor Project has begun. These corridors will allow the refugees who are entitled, to make a safe journey from the south to the north of the World avoiding risky boat trips. The Community of Sant’Egidio and the FCEI have strongly worked on this issue. After a development phase that took months to create a constructive dialogue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior, an agreement has been signed to allow one thousand immigrants, who are in very vulnerable conditions to enter Italy (from Lebanon, Morocco and Ethiopia). The promoter and the associations involved will welcome them with all costs covered not by the Italian Government but largely from the eight per thousand of the Tavola Valdese (Waldensian Executive Board) and other private funds of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

So far Italy has just tried to rescue who were reaching our borders on makeshift boats, without knowing when and from where these people would have arrived or at least knowing it a little before maybe after detecting an SOS from the stormy sea. Now, it is possible to really rescue and not just try to do it. It is true; one thousand is still a small figure, too small against the thousands and thousands of people who are knocking at our doors as fleeing from wars, famine and dictatorships. However, the important is that it is an open road. If it works, it can be a model.

We cannot deny that to really deal with this epochal phenomenon of migration from the southern hemisphere, first we should stop conflicts, violence and abuses that force entire populations to leave. In other words, make peace. But while waiting for this to happen, it is absurd to think that the solution is just to contain the flow towards Europe, rather than handle it with humanity and as a high economic interest, given the actual ageing of the European population. Not to mention the benefit that will result from the humanitarian corridors for a general condition of safety, since the immigrants who will enter in Italy will be controlled and it has not certainly happened to those who arrived with the boats. Moreover, as Angela Merkel said to the one who tried to convince her to drastically limit the entry of refugees in Germany, “the right to asylum since it is a right it has no limits.” It is a “lesson in civility” for Europe. Moreover, the humanitarian corridors are a lesson in Christianity, right at the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy. Again, they can be a model for Italy and for other European countries.