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World Refugee Day: 'When they're granted political asylum, the challenge isn't over'

2013-06-20

FR. GIOVANNI LA MANNA
Centro Astalli, President (Italy)
 
"From finding a place to sleep, somewhere to eat and a place to live with dignity. Even when they're processing or requesting political asylum, the challenge isn't over. It  continues after that.” 

Father Giovanni La Manna is the president of Centro Astalli in Italy, which is one of the most important refugee centers in the country. He says, the issue of immigration and refugees is universal one, but it's often manipulated by politicians. Despite it being a hot button issue, he says, something must be done. 

FR. GIOVANNI LA MANNA
Centro Astalli, President (Italy)

"In the Italian island of Lampedusa, fishermen refer to an area as a cemetery. When they throw their nets out on the sea, sometimes they find human remains.”

During a panel discussion, he said he finds it ironic that a pair of glasses or merchandise can be easily shipped from one country to another. But when it comes to people, it becomes something extremely complicated.

FR. GIOVANNI LA MANNA
Centro Astalli, President (Italy)

"People need to understand who these refugees are. Who are these immigrants? At a political level, we need to keep those in charge accountable. The dignity and rights of refugees must be respected.”

To raise awareness, the Jesuit Refugee Service has organized an event in Rome's Chiesa Gesu. There, on the facade of the parish, a digital projection of the refugee experience, will be shown, at night, until June 21st.


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