“Hotspots are a new – and worse – version of places of detention for people”, migrants have the right to apply for asylum and to appeal, “on ships, this process of international protection is impossible.” This reproach comes from Msgr. Nunzio Galantino, Secretary General of the CEI, in an interview with the Italian daily “La Repubblica”. “It is unthinkable – the prelate said – to use rescue ships to make thousands of people stay in the Mediterranean Sea, waiting for an unkown destination. Unless you want to take them back to ports in Libya and Egypt, dooming them to new forms of exploitation”.
Speaking of the victims at sea, Galantino called their deaths “a slap in the face of European democracy”, pointing out that “unfortunately, we did not have enough courage to create humanitarian channels – in compliance with international law – towards the countries available for reception, so as to promote safe departures and avoid violence, exploitation, and death.”
The Italian Church, in its turn, “answering the Pope’s call” and “in collaboration with Italian municipalities,” he says, is trying “to promote widespread hospitality in this area, taking into consideration (CEI proposed 1,000 micro-projects) also assisted return to their homelands. Filling our mouths with words about helping people in their homelands and realizing concrete international cooperation projects in migrants’ home countries with the help of a network of hundreds of organizations and Catholic NGOs, which have been part of Focsiv for 40 years now”.