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Sereni meets with a delegation of the Ukrainian Government; talks on refugees and unaccompanied minors

Deputy Minister Marina Sereni chaired a meeting this morning with a delegation of the Ukrainian Government, led by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Vira Rogova, consisting of representatives of various institutions, including the adviser to the President of Ukraine on Children’s Rights, Daria Herasymchuk, and the Director General for the Protection of Children’s Rights of the Ministry of Social Policy, Ruslan Kolbasa.

Representing Italy, there were the Director General for Migration Policies, Luigi Vignali, the Vice-President of the Commission for Intercountry Adoption, Vincenzo Starita, officials from the Civil Protection, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of some international organizations working on the issue of refugees (UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM).

Deputy Minister Sereni expressed “the full solidarity of the Italian Government and people with the Government and citizens of Ukraine”, recalling the over 100,000 Ukrainians who have already arrived in our Country and who are mostly hosted by the diaspora network and associationism of the third sector. To this end, Deputy Minister Sereni also reaffirmed “our maximum commitment to provide humanitarian support to Ukraine and neighbouring Countries, and to help strengthen the means to receive, host and assist refugees fleeing Ukraine, in close coordination with the European Union and our allies. We are well aware of the serious humanitarian situation in the Country and we will keep paying close attention.” She also reiterated that “we are by your side, in the pain caused by the war, in the commitment to peace, and in the resolution to help Ukraine and its people.”

Sereni then recalled a first assistance measure, the 110 million euros in aid financed to support the general State budget, and the 26 million euros allocated by development cooperation, which will be followed by a further contribution of 200 million euros. Italy is also supporting neighbouring countries, such as Moldova, with 10 million euros to assist refugees. The Deputy Minister also took the opportunity to thank all the other State Administrations and local Authorities who are making every possible effort to help refugees.

During the meeting, the Ukrainian delegation thanked Italy for its many initiatives in favour of refugees, with particular attention to the issue of minors and unaccompanied minors. Italy and Ukraine both share the objective of ensuring maximum protection for minors based on international and Italian rules. The Italian authorities reiterated their willingness to comply with the rules of the 1993 Hague Convention, avoiding emergency adoption procedures without the consent of the Ukrainian judiciary. Moreover, the greatest possible assistance will be given to the cases of minors who have already been matched with Italian families, in order to reunite them with their adoptive parents as soon as possible. More generally, the wish to maintain close coordination on refugees was reaffirmed, with a particular focus on the rights of minors, with the involvement of the Ukrainian diplomatic-consular network, the Italian authorities, international organizations, civil society organizations, and the third sector, as well as the Ukrainian diaspora, in order to exchange information, examine the different legal systems, and find solutions in the best interests of minors.ests of minors.