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May 27, 2017

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UN slams Rome over its treatment of refugees

ROME--The U.N.'s refugee agency (UNHCR) has written to the mayor of Rome voicing alarm over the hundreds of migrants sleeping rough on the capital's streets while thousands more with legal residency are forced to live in squats.

"We have been highlighting this problem for months and our worries have only increased," said Carlotta Sami, UNHCR's spokeswoman in Italy.

The protest to Virginia Raggi, Rome's recently-elected new mayor, comes a year after the closure of a large informal reception center located close to the capital's Tiburtina train center led to a spike in the number of migrants sleeping on the streets, often in makeshift camps that are regularly dismantled by the authorities.

Sami said Rome's could learn from Milan, where the city authorities have established a migrant reception "hub" with the express purpose of keeping people off the streets as winter sets in.

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