The UNHCR has repatriated 162 highly vulnerable immigrants from Libya to Italy, including unaccompanied children and women who had been in detention centers for extended periods of time.

Receiving the immigrants, the Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said “Today is a historic day: a humanitarian corridor from Libya to Europe has opened for the first time," Italy’s news agency Aki reported Friday.

It added that the Italian Chapel attributed the facilitation of the arrivals from Libya and their protection to the “tragic conditions” they were experiencing, together with thousands of immigrants in Libya migrants’ centers. 

The UNHCR said the migrants are from Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.