Approximately 25 000 and 800 unaccompanied or separated have reached Italy by sea in 2016. A more than double that of 2015, when minors only to reach our were 12,360. Impressive numbers, disseminated by UNICEF with a note, which states that these children represent 91% of all the 28,200 who reached Italy last year as refugees or migrants.
“These data indicate a worrying increase in the number of extremely vulnerable children who risk their lives to get to Europe,” said Lucio Melandri, UNICEF Senior Emergency Manager. “Current systems are not sufficient to protect these children who find themselves in a totally unknown environment. Children are on the run and a coordinated response at European level is needed to keep them safe. ” Most of these unaccompanied or separated minors, arrived last year, come from four countries: Eritrea, Egypt, Gambia and Nigeria.
Different from the past few years among the new arrivals, there are also many minors under 15 years old and many girls. The latter in particular are exposed to risk of sexual exploitation and abuse, including prostitution by criminal networks. The route of the Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Italy is only for the incredibly high proportion of unaccompanied or separated minors between refugees and migrants, while only 17% of child refugees and migrants arrived in Greece by sea in 2016 were not accompanied or an adult family member or someone they cared. “The presence of such a large number of children unaccompanied or separated along the central Mediterranean route is unprecedented – continued Melandri -. It ‘clear that we have a serious problem and that it will continue to grow. In addition to addressing the factors that force children to take trips alone, abandoning their homes, it is necessary to develop a comprehensive protection and monitoring system to protect them. ”
the law comes
On the topic it intervened Vice-President of the Childhood Committee, Sandra Zampa (Pd), ahead of the International Day of Migrants, ensuring that Italy “will be the first country in Europe to adopt a comprehensive law and farsighted on unaccompanied foreign minors. An important point of arrival that will take the lead and stimulus for the rest of Europe that, like today also urges UNICEF, we finally qualities of European legislation, in order to give a coordinated response at European level and protect these children who find themselves in a completely unknown environment “. The law, recalled Paw, is “already passed the House and is now in the Senate.” This measure, he stressed, is certainly “the right thing to do to celebrate in a dignified manner and felt the International Migrants Day. And ‘the real answer to a world torn apart by war and violence, as Pope Francis reminded us, exposes their younger at risk of life, extreme poverty, of suffering of any kind. ”
The choice of the Pope
The Democratic Party leader said she was touched by the fact that Pope Francis “has taken all International Migrants Day to unaccompanied minors. ‘Migrant minors, vulnerable and voiceless’. “