ROME: Italy has pledged to establish humanitarian corridors for Afghan refugees.
Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese told an EU forum on the protection of Afghan citizens who had fled their country that Rome will promote action that ensures refugees can reach Italy from third countries.
Lamorgese told the event attended by Arab News that the scheme would cover Afghan refugees “in clear need of international protection,” taking them from Pakistan and Iran. She added that the plan could also include resettling a quota of Afghans in Turkey under the direction of the European resettlement program for 2022.
She confirmed that Italy is already working on setting up the corridors, which will work like those already established for Syrian refugees.
Lamorgese also reaffirmed the need for a “strong European line” to avoid Afghan refugees getting into the hands of human traffickers.
“We must develop collaboration with third countries of transit to dismantle the trafficking networks, strengthening the reception capacity of the countries bordering Afghanistan,” said Lamorgese, adding: “At the same time, legal channels of entry for vulnerable people must be provided.”
Italy managed to evacuate over 4,900 Afghan citizens from Kabul during emergency airlifts as the Taliban recaptured the country in August. They all have been relocated in cities and towns all over the country, where they have received assistance and jobs so that they may build a new life with their families.
Late on Thursday, the cabinet decided to increase the government’s refugee reception scheme by 3,000 places.
This decision, a spokesman for the Italian prime minister told Arab News, has been taken so that the scheme “could meet in an adequate way the new and particular requirements related to the emergency in Afghanistan and the reception of refugees from that country.”