Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
ROME

Syrian refugees land in Italy

English
© ANSA

(By Emily Backus)
Rome, August 26 - More Syrian refugees landed on
Italian shores over the weekend in a humanitarian crisis that
appears to be spilling even into Europe's lap.
Ninety-eight refugees from Syria on Saturday were
intercepted by a patrol of Frontex, the European agency for
cooperation and management of EU borders.
They were aboard a ship at sea about 40 miles south of the
Sicilian coastal town of Porto Palo.
Twenty-five children and eight women were aboard.
The Syrian refugees were among hundreds this weekend alone
from distressed countries - Tunisia, Eritrea and Somalia - who
risked their lives in dodgy vessels to be rescued near or found
on Italian shores.
Syrians have featured all summer long among migrants daring
the sea from various parts of the Middle East and Africa, who
are generally placed by Italian authorities in migrant detention
centres for identification, processing, and possible expulsion.
On a visit to the migrant island of Lampedusa last month,
Pope Francis asked God to forgive European policy makers'
indifference while hailing immigrants' efforts to seek better
lives.
He also asked to mourn the many lives lost at sea.
Last week the UNHCR and UNICEF in Geneva said one million
children have fled fighting in Syria, about three quarters of
whom are under age 11.
In the words of UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio
Guterres, the survival and well-being of an entire generation of
innocent children is at stake.
"The youth of Syria are losing their homes, their family
members and their futures. Even after they have crossed a border
to safety, they are traumatized, depressed and in need of a
reason for hope," he added.
Children account for over half of the two million refugees
who have fled Syria to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
Syrians are arriving in North Africa and, embarking across
the sea to Europe ever more often.
The price paid by Syrian children in the conflict - now in
its third year - is enormous.
In addition to the one million child refugees, there are
some two million displaced children in Syria.
The UN estimates that at least 7,000 children have been
killed in the conflict, while child refugees are often exposed
to threats such as forced labour, early marriage and sexual
exploitation.

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