By Vatican News
Migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of human trafficking are amongst the most vulnerable people in our society. During the Covdid-19 pandemic, they have become even more so, subjected to numerous types of injustice and discrimination that threaten their rights, security and health.
That’s why the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has been issuing weekly bulletins aimed at sharing information and heightening awareness regarding problems, solutions and initiatives put into practice by the various Catholic actors who accompany vulnerable people and communities on the move.
The theme of this week’s bulletin, # 7, is Pope Francis’s belief that “We can only get out of this situation together, as a whole humanity”.
The bulletin not only points to the problems being encountered by migrants and refugees, but it also elaborates on solutions and best practices enacted to defend their rights, to offer assistance and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within and beyond their communities.
In particular, the “M&R Bulletin C-19 #7” on the COVID-19 crisis covers the following good practices (GPs) undertaken by the Church:
– Providing information to displaced people and communities receiving them
– Meeting migrants’ and refugees’ basic needs
– Offering migrants and refugees a shelter
To do this, the document is articulated in paragraphs that highlight diverse realities in different geographical areas highlighting how different issues are being tackled by Church actors. Each topic includes a link to relevant statements, contacts and information.
For example, it highlights how Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) USA proposes “6 Ways to Stand in Solidarity with Refugees” such as supporting their education and urging the U.S. Government to respect asylum seekers’ rights rather than close borders and stop processing asylum seekers. It also reveals how the Human Mobility Section of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference shares materials developed to provide migrants and refugees with legal advice, telephones, and important information on health and work amid the pandemic.
Several paragraphs are dedicated to how organizations such as the St. Egidio Community and many Catholic aid agencies are providing basic necessities and development programmes to displaced persons in Nigeria, Iraq, Singapore and Brazil.
The part of the bulletin dedicated to offering migrants and refugees a shelter underscores work being done by Scalabrinians in the Philippines and other initiatives to care for migrants in France, Bolivia and Colombia.
The bulletin concludes with an invitation to interested parties to send news about their initiatives and good practices so they can be added to the inspiration and guidance conveyed in future newsletters in the deep-rooted belief that “no one must be forgotten.”