The office for foreigners in Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia | Photo: ANSA / Archive
The office for foreigners in Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia | Photo: ANSA / Archive

A report presented by the Catholic charity Caritas and the Migrantes foundation on the Italian island of Sardinia has highlighted that over 51,000 foreigners live in the region. They include 5,500 who attend school out of a student population of 200,000 on the island.

According to a new report, Sardinia has a population of over 51,000 foreign residents, with 70% living in the provinces of two of the major towns on the island, Sassari and Cagliari, according to data presented during an online seminar on Monday (February 7). The seminar was organized by the Catholic charity Caritas and the Sardinian chapter of the Migrantes foundation, in collaboration with the local journalists' guild and the UCSI union.

In Sardinia, just like in the rest of Italy, education offers an opportunity for integration with over 5,500 foreigners attending school out of a total student population of 200,000, according to the data presented at the seminar.

Participants analyzed data contained in the 30th Caritas Migrantes report on immigration. Father Marco Lai, the regional representative for immigration who coordinated the seminar said the report was important for collating data from the last thirty years, as well as raising awareness about the phenomenon of migration, which has "always been a part of humanity."

Resident population declines

In recent years, the resident population in Sardinia had declined by 13,000. Webinar participants highlighted how immigration isn't able to compensate alone for this decline anymore.

Father Stefano Messina, who heads the regional chapter of Migrantes, said migrants have posed new challenges for the Church. Migrants "make us confront new challenges, to do with how we value and evaluate different cultures," he noted.

The Church's "commitment is not just religious, but also a social one through aid provided by ecclesiastical communities to foreign ones, starting with the needy: a sensibility that has also increasingly developed on the island."

Raffaele Callia, a regional representative of Caritas who is in charge of the research service of the local chapter of the charity, presented the latest data on the phenomenon of immigration in Italy and Sardinia.

The report found that over 280 million people (48% women) in 2020 were living outside their country of origin. That is an increase of 8.4 million compared to the previous year and accounts for 3.6% of the world's population. 93 million of those living outside their country of origin were living in Europe.

 

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