Several humanitarian organizations have sent an appeal to Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese. They want her to immediately allow church charities to carry out five flights to evacuate vulnerable migrants from Libya to Italy.
In a letter released on January 12, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have asked Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese to immediately grant permission to church charities to carry out five migrant evacuation flights from Libya to Italy.
The open letter was signed by sixteen organizations -- including Mediterranea Saving Humans, Alarm Phone and Baobab Experience -- as well as twenty migrant rights advocates. According to the signatories, Lamorgese's ministry has been "working on the realization of a beautiful project for five evacuation flights from Libya to Italy for six months."
Humanitarian emergency in Libya
"We know that every project has its course but, considering the humanitarian emergency in Libya, we ask you to immediately grant the authorization to organize the five flights of urgent evacuation," the letter to Lamorgese reads.
The relocations, according to the letter, would be organized as humanitarian corridors by the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, the Valdensian Table and the Community of Sant'Egidio.
Humanitarian corridors allow civil society organizations to carry out refugee relocations; provided that they pay for the costs to support the refugees.
Refugee evacuation via corridors
In their letter, the activists argued that the church organizations "have been successfully evacuating Syrian refugees from Lebanon for years and, therefore, have all the right requirements to organize the hosting and reallocation of people in various European countries without weighing on the Italian State."
The signatories wrote that "humanitarian corridors allow people who have fled their countries and who are in a situation of vulnerability to exercise their right to apply for asylum by using legal and safe pathways."
According to the letter, several people who had been selected for relocation from Libya to Italy have died recently, including an 18-month-old girl.