domenica 14 agosto 2016

Appeals to the European Commission: Refugees blocked at EU borders

Habeshia Agency

Refugees blocked at EU borders

Hundreds of refugees are stranded in Ventimiglia, in Como, at the threshold of the Alpine frontier. In Milan he arrived nearly 3,500 and continue to increase because only 20 percent are able to continue their journey, compared to 85/90 percent past years.
In Como, in particular, according to the latest reports, they are trapped about 500 migrants are housed in makeshift shelters or camped to the best in the park opposite the station. Almost everyone has tried several times to enter Switzerland or to cross to Germany or to ask asylum, to have relatives in the country willing to host them and help them. In most cases, they have been rejected, even when they have been able to produce certificates of achievement and family documents, domiciled in Switzerland for some time, in fact claim to them, and he would welcome them. Only a few, helped by volunteers and maybe after numerous failed attempts, managed to arrive at the Registration Center to apply for international protection. It 'a daily trickle, in which there seem to be certain criteria in the acceptance or rejection procedures, so as to induce the suspicion that the border guards restrictive service orders have been given so far not officially made known, with the result of the confusion , uncertainties and, therefore, the suffering of so many people, among which must be reported, moreover, at least one hundred minors.
A Ventimiglia, the situation is similar: hundreds of migrants are repeatedly trying to get to Menton, but are almost always intercepted and rejected. Even the few that they can filter are typically identified in a short time and turned back. And Brenner, meanwhile, is always closed. It is recorded so often an ebb towards Milan and its hinterland, or even to Bologna and Rome.

It 'a situation that is exploding, as evidenced by the riots in recent days in Ventimiglia, where, unfortunately, has had to also record the death of a police officer. But it may only be the beginning, when you think about what happens in the reception centers in Italy: the increasingly crowded fields, long waiting times for those who want to apply for asylum in Italy or continue its route to other European countries , the climate of tremendous uncertainty induce more and more migrants to flee, to try to cross the border, even braving the risk of being sent back to the first check and relying perhaps the trafficking organizations that have taken root in Europe.

The point is that Europe is more and more closed and continues to raise barriers to its borders, both external ones, both internal among individual states. In particular, it is clear, in this context, the failure of the relocation program had been planned 160,000 places by 2017 but to date they have been activated in practice only a little over 3,500, of which 902 from Italy and the rest from Greece. It 'clear that if the project work, none of the applicants would be exposed to the risk of a trip underground into the unknown, where the only certainty is the difficulties and suffering that will meet along the way, often misunderstanding or even the hostility of many, the prospect of ending up more and more frequently in the hands of traffickers, exactly as happened to many of them in Africa, before landing in Italy.

Then emerge two needs to be given immediate answers:

 - Restart the relocation plan, asking in Brussels and individual EU member states to respect their commitments, according to the principle, repeatedly stated by several European leaders, that "everyone must do their part."

- A reception system able to overcome the present situation which records more than 90,000 seats in "extraordinary" structures (Cas and Cara) finally implement in Italy (which has so far proved to be primarily a transit country for migrants) and less than 25000 in those destined to accompany the refugees in a process of social inclusion (Sprar), bringing his ability to "hospitality" permanent levels of European average.

A particular problem and is extremely delicate, in this situation, that of unaccompanied minors. I always arrive more: they have tripled over the past five years. And more and more they disappear without a trace. There are also many among the refugees stranded in Ventimiglia, in Como, Milan, at border posts: boys in the vast majority identified the landing and thus formally "taken over" by the Italian State and then "disappeared." It appears evident that for all of them need a special attention. And 'certainly welcome the decision of the Italian government to open within a very short time 35 new reception centers where they take care of this special category of refugees, the most vulnerable and at risk, as denounced in the most numerous occasions NGOs and the same Europol. The situation that has arisen in recent weeks, however, requires immediate intervention involving the whole of Europe:

- Facilitate, by EU governments, the entry of young people in the country who have relatives and family members willing to care for them, beginning with minor stuck in these days at the border.

- Coordinate and make the fastest possible the procedures for the award of family present or in the same countries of landing (mainly Italy and Greece) or in other countries throughout the European community, as well as provides the Dublin Regulation.

- Activate and strengthen the local social services to take care of unaccompanied minors who are refugees have no family in one of the European countries, hosting them in appropriate host communities, not excluding in the future better solutions, like the award to families willing to welcome them or any relatives found or arrived in the meantime in Europe.

This is not extraordinary measures. It is only to enforce the laws and rules that EU states have given themselves. Indeed, to respect the values ​​from which was born the idea of ​​the European Union. Responding adequately to the current crisis of migrants, then, it is perhaps far beyond the problem itself is a challenge in which Europe's future is at stake.

Don Mussie Zerai

President of the agency Habeshia

Rome, August 13, 2016

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