On Tuesday October 16th, we had a meeting at the UNHCR in Rome. We met with Mr. Felipe Camargo, Regional Representative for South Europe, Ana Vega, and Constanza Pascuali from the Community-Based Protection Team.
Mr. Camaro, kindly, dedicated time to welcome us, and to provide us with a brief of the situation of sea arrivals mainly from Africa. His team help us understand better, the job of UNHCR in three main areas: Reception, Determination, and Integration of Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Stateless persons. He talked about some shocking numbers. There has been as many as 90,295 sea arrivals from Jan, 2018 up until Oct 16, 2018. The main three point of entry are Spain (48,7060), Greece (24,999) and Italy (21,613).This is just over 50% of the total in 2017 (172,301). T
he conditions for migrants, who arrive in Italy, are not the best, and tend to become critical. The Italian infrastructure and system to deal with these number of arrivals is not prepared and efficient. The political environment, and the possibility of change, for the worst, of the immigration law in regards with Refugee Claimants, Asylum Seekers and Stateless persons do not paint a pretty picture for the desperate situation of people arriving mainly from African countries.
This situation has made us appreciate more the way to process refugee and asylum claims in Canada. Even if is not perfect, we are blessed to have the Refugee, and Asylum Seeker system that we have.
Text and images by alva43jhon, Jhon Alva