Italy welcomed 11,000 unaccompanied refugee minors this year

Naples scrambling to accommodate 117 recent arrivals

(ANSA) - Rome, September 10 - Some 11,000 unaccompanied minors have landed on Italy's shores as refugees this year, the national association of Italian city councils (ANCI) told the House Constitutional affairs committee on Wednesday.
    "That's 3,000 more than the average influx over the past 10 years," ANCI representative Camilla Orlandi told MPs examining a bill on protective measures for foreign unaccompanied minors.
    "We've been waiting for this measure for a while," Orlandi said, adding that Italy lacks a national foreign child protection agency.
    The bill would allocate significant funding to set up such an agency, which would take charge of the minors from when they first arrive to when they are assigned to more long-term placement.
    Also on Tuesday, 877 migrants from several African countries disembarked from an Italian Navy ship after they were rescued off various vessels in distress as part of Italy's Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) migrant search-and-rescue mission.
    They came from Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Syria, officials said.
    They included more than 150 minors, 117 of them unaccompanied, authorities said as they scrambled to place them in group homes and other facilities in the Campania region.
    "We have found permanent places for more than 40 of these kids so far," explained Naples welfare councilwoman Roberta Gaeta, adding that the Red Cross has said it will take in another 70 kids on a temporary basis.


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