10/16/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/16/2020 03:50
Rome - Yesterday (15/10) 60 asylum seekers relocated from Italy to Germany through a movement carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in cooperation and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Interior, the European Commission and the German Government.
The asylum seekers had been hosted in several reception centres in the Italian regions of Lazio, Calabria and Sicily. The group left Crotone in Calabria yesterday morning and arrived safely in Hannover from where they were transferred to accommodation throughout Germany.
The latest relocation was one of several movements carried out in the last few weeks. Some 124 asylum seekers have been relocated from Italy to other EU Member States since September 2020, including 59 to France, 49 to Germany, 12 to Portugal and four to Finland.
'We are glad to continue to support the voluntary relocation mechanism set up through the Valletta Joint Statement of 23 September 2019, despite the many challenges related to the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic,' said Laurence Hart, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.
'IOM will continue to ensure support and direct assistance to beneficiaries of relocation, together with our partners including the Italian Ministry of Interior, the Italian local health services, the DG Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO),' he added.
Yesterday's relocation is part of a new phase being implemented from Italy since December 2019 with the initial support of the Italian Government, and more recently financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union, managed by the European Commission, which will coordinate and sustain joint efforts for the next year.
Moustafa, from Mali, was anticipating the new beginning ahead of him.
'I look forward to learning German and being able to communicate with the locals,' he said before boarding the flight in Crotone.
The voluntary relocation programme is a concrete gesture of European solidarity which aims to redistribute asylum seekers from countries of arrival to the other EU Member States in a safe and legal manner.
IOM and its partners will continue to robustly support the implementation of the programme and to ensure the human rights and dignity of migrants are upheld throughout the process.
In particular, IOM is responsible for ensuring that relocation beneficiaries travel in safety and dignity and are provided with information and awareness about what lies ahead for them in the country of relocation. Special attention is paid to asylum seekers' health needs and conditions, as well as all necessary precautions concerning COVID-19.
For more information, please contact Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 89 96, Email: [email protected]