Caritas strengthens network’s support of migrants
Migration is a rich resource for both the migrant and for the countries which welcome them. But how can the rights of these migrants be protected sufficiently during their transit and during their lives in other countries to ensure that they do not fall victim to abuses and can fully develop their potential?
Dakar forum – the first of the Caritas network in Africa - addresses the risks and challenges linked to migration
This is what Church actors and leading voices from the Caritas network looked at during a forum entitled “Migration, Policies and Human Rights” in Dakar, Senegal, at the end of November.
Migrants represent 2.9 per cent of world population. Nearly half of these people are female.
With 162 members across the world, many of which in countries where migration is an issue, the Caritas network works closely with migrants. As a result it must ensure that it is well-equipped to deal with migration issues.
With the aim of promoting the dignity of the person, the Dakar forum – the first of the Caritas network in Africa - recommended that the network should provide information and raise awareness about the risks and challenges linked to migration, provide professional services for those on the journey, while also helping those who may want to go back to their countries of origin.
As there is not only the South – North migration, but also Migration within the African Countries, Caritas members in Africa should improve collaboration among themselves, and consider the possibility of setting up a working group to gather knowledge and collect best practices. Caritas worldwide should also ensure there is opportunity for thought and dialogue in building a common strategy.
A number of recommendations for governments were also made at the meeting including improved governance and better economic and migration policies.
Negotiations between states on migration policy should be multilateral and should also engage civil society organisations. Any policy should not just be about managing flows of migrants, nor should it place Africa in a role where it has to play the role of security guard for European borders.
Other suggestions include ensuring countries protect the rights of their citizens who have migrated abroad, and making sure international agreements also promote human rights.
Caritas is actively engaged in projects to help marginalised migrants, asylum seekers, exploited migrant workers and their families, refugees, internally displaced persons, victims of trafficking and foreigners/asylum seekers in detention. It also undertakes advocacy initiatives to raise awareness and recommend policy change about migration.
Read the declaration from the Migration, Policies and Human Rights forum.
DeclarationMigration, Policies and Human Rights forum
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