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Pope promotes ‘humanitarian corridors’ for asylum seekers

Pope Francis is seeking to promote legal migration routes to Europe as an alternative to smuggling operations which he says have turned the Mediterranean Sea into a “graveyard”.


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met with thousands of refugees and charity groups hosting them in Italy on Saturday as he sought to promote legal migration routes to Europe as an alternative to the smuggling operations he says have transformed the Mediterranean Sea in a “cemetery”.

Francis said “humanitarian corridors”, which have been operating in Italy since 2016, have saved lives and helped newly arrived asylum seekers acclimatise while religious groups have provided housing, education and opportunities for life. work.

“Humanitarian corridors are not only aimed at bringing refugees to Italy and other European countries, rescuing them from situations of uncertainty, danger and endless waiting; they are also working on integration,” he said.

The Catholic charity Sant’Egidio, the Federation of Evangelical Churches and the Waldensian Church spearheaded the ecumenical humanitarian transfer initiative in Italy, which brought more than 6,000 people to Europe, it said. -one says to François.

Under this program, aid workers identify asylum seekers in refugee camps and process the first documents to get them into Italy for humanitarian reasons. Once there, they receive help to settle and apply for asylum.

Families from Syria, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Ukraine were in the Vatican auditorium to meet the pope.

“It was important for me to come here to show the world that humanitarian corridors are one of the greatest things this world can offer people who deserve safety and dignity,” Oliver Chris I. Kabalisa, 22, originally from Rwanda, says. “Because as refugees, we don’t leave our country because we want to, but because we have to, we have to.”

Afghan refugee Nazani Shakvulla said women in her country were suffering, were barred from education, work and travel, and needed help from the Vatican and charity groups “to support humanitarian corridors and find a way to evacuate or find a way for girls in Afghanistan to get an education.”


Follow AP’s coverage of global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

ABC News

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