Italy’s church-led Humanitarian Corridors are changing the lives of some vulnerable Syrian refugees. So far, in 18 months, about 850 refugees have been resettled. The Italian government says the initiative sends “a message to Europe that there is no need for new walls or fences”.
Churches foot the bill and do the organising. The Italian government supports the pilot program by fast-tracking security checks through its offices in Lebanon. Cleared asylum seekers arrive by a chartered overnight Alitalia flight, welcomed with tea, coffee and toys for the children to play with at the airport while church volunteers help parents fill out the family’s forms to claim protection.
Dr Claire Higgins went to Italy to research the program that’s already been copied by France, with other European countries considering their own ‘corridors’. Could it be a model for Australia as well? This podcast was recorded at the event Out of Syria, Searching for Safety: Creative approaches to refugee protection on the 9 August 2017.
Out of Syria, Searching for Safety: Creative approaches to refugee protection
Chair: Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill, Acting Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law
Recorded: 9 August 2017
About the Speaker
Claire Higgins is a Senior Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. Claire is a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, and previously completed doctoral study in History as a Clarendon Scholar at Merton College, the University of Oxford, writing on the development of Australian refugee policy. At the Kaldor Centre Claire’s research concerns refugee status determination in historical context, and alternative policies for processing asylum seekers. Her research on protected entry procedures has received funding under the Margaret George Award at the National Archives of Australia, a Travelling Fellowship from the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Australian European University Institute Fellowship Association Inc.