Jody asked me to write a short clarification about the way that refugees are designated refugees. This all began when we had our panel this week. Marcus asked a question to Frederico about what type of camp is Vel Mari. I realized then that maybe the discussion about refugee and immigrant status may have become clouded along the way. I agreed to try to clarify, but if you have any other questions, I’ve posted my contact information in FB and I’ll try to fill in gaps as they come up.
When I mentioned that there are almost 70 million people displaced in the world but only 25 million are refugees, that’s because there are many people who will never qualify for refugee status under the laws/policies of the United Nations. If you’ll remember, I discussed asylum. The immigrants here in Alghero are actually immigrants seeking asylum. The countries they came from are not considered conflict countries, so they will not qualify for refugee status from the United Nations (UNHCR). SO…the idea of primary and secondary camps will not apply here. Alghero has graciously set up these camps to house immigrants safely. IF the Italian government is willing, there are some who may get asylum (or their “Papers”). The only immigrants who will qualify for assistance under these policies are those who are fleeing from persecution, oppression and war in a conflict country.
Again, please let me know if you have any other questions for clarification as you move forward.