Delegate Name: Alessandra Alkema
Recently, the amount of international and domestic disputes has risen significantly in relation to the debate of refugees. Initially in 1950, the United Nations General Assembly (GA) established the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) to deal with the growing refugee crisis. The UNHCR has taken support to the voluntary repatriation of refugees, including ensuring the cooperation of home nations. According to their Handbook for Repatriation and Reintegration Activities, “the core components of voluntary repatriation are physical, legal and material safety, and reconciliation.” They have identified eight ongoing emergencies, including (but not limited to) the situations in Afghanistan, DR Congo, Syria, and Ukraine. These refugees in such nations face critical human rights issues such as but not limited to homelessness, hunger, and lack of water and medical resources. Current challenges particularly fall with mass displacement increasing at a rapid rate. In addition to discussing repatriation processes and policies in peaceful nations, it is also crucial that the HRC committee discuss how to aid in the repatriation of refugees whose home nations have not been restored to stability or peacefulness.
As a delegate from the country of Italy, we stress the importance of assisting and guiding refugees who have lost stability in their home countries. Italy is at the center of the European refugee crisis, the country connecting with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in order to help refugees in times of chaos. IRC Italy works across the regions of Lombardy, Sicily, Lazio, Piedmont, Campania, and Friuli Venezia Giulia to enhance refugees’ safety, power, education, economic empowerment and mental health – with a focus on women and children. In 2022, Italy hosted 296,000 refugees through dangerous sea routes, showing a 98% increase in the number of arrivals between 2021 and 2020. There are 10 repatriation centers in Italy which have a capacity to hold 1,338 migrants until their planned expulsion. As a member of UNHCR’s Advisory Committee since 1951, Italy’s support for UNHCR’s mandate has been steadfast. Italy’s financial support directly contributes to UNHCR’s activities on the ground, saving lives and offering solutions in times of emergencies. In 2022, record-high funding from Italy supported humanitarian responses to displacement crises in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Niger, Colombia, and more. Italy has made a total contribution of 33.1 million dollars in 2023 so far.
Italy continues its contributions and connection in providing refugees with humanitarian responses in resources and safe places. The government wants to double the number of centers and have at least one in each of Italy’s 20 regions. With the extensive collaboration of financial resources, Italy wishes to continue providing money and assistance to struggling and displaced peoples. However, with the surge of migrant arrivals, Italy has toughened the country’s measures and responses to the crisis. The new measures will allow for the extended detention of migrants awaiting asylum decisions, from the current three months to an initial six months — with the possibility of an extension up to 18 months. In hopes of these measures commencing properly, Italy wishes to further support refugees in times of need and collaborate with other nations in its efforts and programs to ensure safety and security.