Migrants on the Ocean Viking, the ship of SOS Mediterranee, at the pier of San Cataldo in Taranto | Photo: ANSA/INGENITO
Migrants on the Ocean Viking, the ship of SOS Mediterranee, at the pier of San Cataldo in Taranto | Photo: ANSA/INGENITO

Two associations based in the Italian city of Taranto have launched an appeal to help asylum seekers who ''have been forced to live and sleep on the streets for several weeks'' amid the coronavirus emergency.

Activists in the southern city of Taranto have urged authorities to help homeless asylum seekers amid the coronavirus emergency.

"For several weeks a certain number of international protection applicants have been forced to live and sleep on the streets," said the legal representatives of the Taranto associations Ohana and Babele, Enzo Pilò and Daniela Lafratta.

The representatives said letters have been sent to the prefecture and health authorities in the city, which is located in the Puglia region, urging authorities to take action and to provide housing to the asylum seekers.

"The only response of all institutions has been once again silence," they said.

Pilò and Lafratta stressed that "clearly these men are running a great risk for their own healthand for collective health at this moment and under such conditions."

Appeal for 'indispensable interventions and shared policies'

"We have asked for over two years for a meeting of the Territorial Council for Immigration, the organization chaired by the prefecture, with the participation of the mayor of the main city of the province, ASL (the local health authority), unions, business representatives, NGOs, to plan and discuss crucial initiatives and shared policies," the representatives said.

Pilò and Lafratta went on to say that amid the coronavirus emergency "it is urgent for everyone to take charge, within their jurisdiction, of monitoring the territory and to take responsibility in order to prevent contagion through the implementation of what the law imposes."

They concluded asking for an answer on which public services should be guaranteed by the city, "the regulations to access them and the measures to help frail people in an emergency."

 

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