Caritas imagines a migrant's rights protected
"I phone my daughter and she sometimes says to me ‘Mamma, we’ve grown up; you’ve missed our teenage years’,” said Lila*.
Would you leave your home and children for a job? And not see them for months, maybe even years? Some people have no choice. They are driven from their country by war, poverty, economic depression and lack of opportunities. Sometimes they are the victims of trafficking and are made to leave their countries through deception or force. Quite often these people are women and mothers.
In 2008, Caritas Internationalis established an advocacy team to focus on the issue of women and migration.
“History shows people will always migrate,” said Martina Liebsch, the Advocacy Coordinator for Migration and Trafficking. “But Caritas wants migrants to be able to make an informed choice, based on different opportunities.
“Caritas focuses its migration work on women. Around half the world’s migrants are women. They are vulnerable to exploitation and indecent working conditions.”
The migration of women has a big impact on the family and society in developing countries. Some of the challenges migrants face include exploitation by traffickers, unemployment, poor wages and few or no rights in their jobs.
Caritas provides counselling and bureaucratic assistance to migrants, who may find themselves in a country where they do not know the language. It offers legal advice, language courses, skills development and help in finding employment. It also offers moral and psychological support. And Caritas raises awareness among communities and host governments about the meaning and benefits of integration.
Caritas advocates for more legal channels of migration. The Caritas work on sustainable returns tries to ensure that if people go back home, they prepare thoroughly before returning and they have a reference point once in their country.
RESOURCESAnnual Report 2011How Caritas works: Women and Migration Comitment on TraffickingCaritas Internationalis Statement for UNHCR Annual Consultation Migration and human trafficking on Caritas blogAdvocacy Paper for COATNET affiliatesStatement for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)Message of Pope Benedict for World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2013 Caritas statement on right to health for migrant children
NEWSCOATNET statement HRC 2010Report on prevention of human traffickingCOATNET statement for the European Antitrday