Tech & Rights

'Institutions Are Hiding' as Migrants Sleep in the Streets of Rome

A huge humanitarian emergency is unfolding in Rome. Hundreds of migrants are sleeping in the streets, cared for only by volunteers and citizens.

by Luana Ruscitti
Hundreds of migrants, most coming from Ethiopia and Eritrea, arrive in Rome and find themselves with no place to go.

For many young men, children and pregnant women, tired from the long travel they faced coming to Italy, there has been only one place to turn: the Baobab Experience.

The Baobab Experience

Born as a center of Eritrean culture, the Baobab began to host migrants roughly two years ago, after the evacuation of the camps near Tiburtina Station in Rome.

It filled a void caused by Roman authorities' efforts to evict migrants from makeshift camps and housing without offering them reception alternatives.

The Baobab Experience became a focal point for the reception of migrants passing through Rome, carried out by volunteers and citizens sensitive to this very serious humanitarian emergency.

A few months ago, the Baobab Experience was evacuated by Rome's special commissioner, Francesco Paolo Tronca, creating the same situation yet again: migrants in the streets without a place to go.

The humanitarian organization Medici per i Diritti Umani (MEDU) condemns the drama that is taking place, stating:

"At this time in Rome hundreds of migrants arriving from the Horn of Africa are left in inhuman conditions. These are young men, women, and pregnant girls who arrived a few days ago in our country after a dramatic journey to Rome, and they do not find any kind of institutional reception. Hundreds of people forced to sleep on the asphalt literally, in unhygienic and unsanitary condition."

Now MEDU is providing the first medical help, while volunteers and citizens provide food for the migrants.

'Institutions are hiding'

Fruitless appeals were made to city officials, including new mayor Virginia Raggi, to invite them to take action and find a solution to a situation that threatens to worsen.

Volunteers added an appeal of their own: "We need meals for lunch. Today we were able to feed only part of Via Cupa migrants, about 150 of 300 people. The institutions are hiding. We ask individual citizens, bakeries, rotisseries, and restaurants to help us by giving us unsold food or spontaneous donations to provide meals."

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