Pope promotes ‘humanitarian corridor’ for migrants

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

ViaGIANFRANCO Stara Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met on Saturday with thousands of refugees and charity groups helping them as he seeks to promote legal migration routes to Europe as an alternative to illegal migration. smuggling, which he said has turned the Mediterranean into a “cemetery”.

Pope Francis said “humanitarian corridors,” which have been operating in Italy since 2016, have saved lives and helped newly arrived migrants adapt while church groups provide opportunities for housing, education and jobs.

“Humanitarian corridors are not only aimed at bringing refugees to Italy and other European countries, rescuing them from precarious, dangerous and endlessly waiting situations; they are also aiming for integration,” he said.

Catholic charity Sant’Egidio, Federation of Evangelical Churches and Waldensian Churches have led an ecumenical humanitarian transfer initiative in Italy, which has brought more than 6,000 people to Europe, Pope Francis is said know.

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

“For me, it’s important to come here to show the world that humanitarian corridors are some of the most beautiful things the world has to offer to those who deserve it” safety and dignity, Oliver Chris I. Kabalisa, 22 years old from Rwanda said. “Because as a refugee, we don’t leave our country because we want to, but because we are restricted, we have to.”

Afghan refugee Nazani Shakvulla said women in her country are suffering, are banned from studying, working and traveling, and need help from the Vatican and charity groups “to support the corridors humanitarian aid and find ways to evacuate or find ways for girls in Afghanistan to get an education.”


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