July 7, 2011

Migration conference in Senegal

By |7 July 2011|

In Tinzawaten there’s next to nothing to eat or drink, the houses are roofless shells, it’s freezing at night, scorching in the day, murder and rape go unpunished, women are sold as slaves and babies are born in the open. This is the desert of Mali. The people of Tinzawaten are migrants who’ve been deported from Algeria, shoved across the border and dumped with nothing. The harrowing scene is described by Fr Jerome Otitoyomi Dukiya at a conference organised by the Caritas Internationalis General Secretariat and Caritas Senegal in Saly, Senegal. Fr Jerome said, “Algeria signed an agreement with the EU in exchange for financial and development aid that migrants would only be returned to their own countr y. The deal doesn’t mean abandoning them to years of limbo in places like Tinzawaten. But who’s making a fuss about it?” Caritas is. It is advocating for full legal protection for migrants, especially [...]

March 10, 2011

A woman’s world?

By |10 March 2011|

Across the globe, women do 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of its food, yet earn only 10% its income and own 1% of its property. Such figures show just how far we still have to go in the struggle to achieve the genuine equality and empowerment of women worldwide, an objective set down in the third Millennium Development Goal. Listen to Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis policy director, interviewed by Vatican Radio for International Women's Day 2011.

February 28, 2011

Caritas in Uruguay to tackle urban and domestic violence

By |28 February 2011|

Urban and domestic violence has become a more pressing problem in Uruguay. Caritas Uruguay decided to push forward peaceful conflict resolution programmes throughout the country.

December 2, 2010

Greater protection of women migrants essential

By |2 December 2010|

Caritas Internationalis urged its 165 national members to unite to protect the rights of women migrants at the end of its special ‘Female face of Migration’ conference. Over 100 representatives from the Caritas confederation of Catholic charities and other migration experts from 50 countries attended the three-day conference in Saly, Senegal, 30 November to 2 December. Speaking at the end, Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General Lesley-Anne Knight said, “Behind the difficulties that women migrants face, there is always poverty and a lack of a sense of belonging and of being part of a family. “Caritas organisations should get involved at a local and national level, lobby political and religious leaders and open their hearts to their sisters and brothers who are seeking peace and security in their country.” Caritas calls for effective and lasting international solutions to protect women migrants and ensure they are supported to make informed choices. Women represent roughly half of the world’s [...]

November 22, 2010

  • Marion visits Caritas Jordan to collect some food supplies.

Credits: Michelle Hough/Caritas
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    Migrant women at great risk of exploitation, abuse and insecurity

Migrant women at great risk of exploitation, abuse and insecurity

By |22 November 2010|

Caritas says women are suffering from exploitation, abuse, trafficking and lack labour rights as they migrate in greater numbers. It says governments are failing to implement policies to protect vulnerable women migrants. Caritas representatives from all over the world and a range of high-level migration experts from international organisations will discuss these issues at the conference “The female face of migration” in Saly, Senegal from 30 November to 2 December 2010. Dr. Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, said,  “As poverty, conflict and climate change force more people from their homes, Caritas is working to protect their rights, especially those of women. Supporting migrants continues to be a major part of our work worldwide, from counselling before they leave their homes to medical, livelihood and legal support once they have reached their destinations, as well as assistance for those who want to get back to their homes. Caritas does not just [...]

August 29, 2010

Trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By |29 August 2010|

In the middle of 1990 people trafficking became a very serious and complicated problem in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Pan Asia campaign against trafficking

By |29 August 2010|

Alice was 25 when she left her job in Manila, the Philippines. She is a qualified civil engineer, yet her salary was not enough to pay for her four brothers and sisters to go through school. When she saw an advertisement offering well-paid posts as civil engineers in Kuwait, she contacted the recruitment agency immediately. She had to pay half the agency's fees up front, agreeing to repay the rest on taking up her position. But when she arrived in Kuwait she was told to sign a contract to work as a domestic servant. The agency refused to allow her to return to the Philippines, insisting that she take up the post and pay them the money she owed. For two and a half years she worked as a domestic servant for a family. She never had a day off, and regularly worked 20 hour days. “Child trafficking and sexual exploitation [...]

Caritas statement on human trafficking

By |29 August 2010|

Sanumaya Tamang and Sani Tam-ang were both 16 when they were taken to brothels in India. More than 10,000 women and children form Nepal are trafficked into India every year. Internal conflict, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment in Nepal are the root causes of the problem. In India, Caritas is working with authorities to toughen government boarder controls to shut down the activity. Caritas works around the global to combat trafficking. Caritas strongly condemns trafficking as a criminal act that violates basic human rights. Caritas is committed to taking decisive actions To raise public awareness and enable people to take preventative actions Caritas works in communities with at risk groups to explain the dangers of trafficking.Caritas also works with various key groups such as doctors, religious, social workers and government officials to build a long-term network of awareness building. To advocate for alternatives for vulnerable people Caritas works to provide alternatives to vulnerable groups who are looking to [...]

Lebanon Migration Center

By |29 August 2010|

Starting with a small team of three people in 1994, the Caritas Migration Centre today helps thousands of foreigners living in Lebanon. In spite of political and economic difficulties, Lebanon hosts many refugees in need of protection and better living conditions. Palestinians, Sudanese, and tens of thousands of Iraqis are now in the country.. Caritas Lebanon provides help, legal council and assistance, medical aid, and support with the education of children. The outburst of violence in Iraq in 2003 initiated a surge of refugees into the country, so that Caritas Lebanon quickly had to develop its capabilities and today there are six centres dedicated to help the Iraqis. The Centre is also very active in the protection and the defence of the rights of women who have come to Lebanon as domestic workers. Originating in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Ethiopia, they are sometimes the victims of ill treatment. Caritas helps the victims and also [...]
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    Caritas urges European Union not to turn migrants into criminals

Caritas urges European Union not to turn migrants into criminals

By |29 August 2010|

Caritas is calling on European governments to stop the criminalization of migrants as outlined in new EU legislation. Caritas organisations in Latin America and the Caribbean have urged Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and European Union states to review their harmful common migration policies. Caritas and church organisation in Europe backed the call, saying the EU must respect human rights. A European Parliament directive on 18 June threatens to turn migrants into criminals and allows for their expulsion. Caritas Latin America and Caribbean President, Bishop Fernando Bargalló says that this policy is opposite to a safe, humane and coherent migratory system that has at its heart the fundamental rights of the human person. Bishop Fernando Bargalló said “Caritas is urging the European Parliament to reconsider legislation which criminalises honest migrants who are trying to bring their families out of poverty. “The European Union has benefited for years from the efforts of hard working migrants [...]

Fight Trafficking: What to do in the European Union?

By |29 August 2010|

They are forced into sexual slavery, their organs are removed, they are exploited in the workplace. These are just some of the realities of the people who fall victim to human trafficking. Caritas members are currently at a meeting in Paris to urge the current French Presidency of the EU to raise awareness about the risks posed to vulnerable people by trafficking. Here are some of the pictures from an accompanying photo exhibition which tells the stories of trafficking victims.

No domestic bliss for migrants in Lebanon

By |29 August 2010|

Aneesa*, 23, arrived in Lebanon during the 2006 war with Israel. She left her home in the Philippines to become a domestic worker with a family. With battles being fought on the streets of Beirut, Aneesa was very afraid and wanted to go back home after just two weeks. It was too difficult to leave so Aneesa had to stay with the family that had been assigned to her by an agency. Very soon, her concerns about the war outside dimmed in comparison to her own personal conflict, which saw her the victim of violence and abuses at the hands of her employers. “The Mister slapped me and even touched me. He wanted to find out if I was a virgin and single. I begged him not to touch me, but he was very strong and I was frightened,” said Aneesa. As time passed, the list of abuses grew longer. Aneesa was hit, [...]

Migration: weighing up the options

By |29 August 2010|

They cross deserts in Mexico and they take to rough seas in unsafe boats in North Africa. They risk alienation, rejection and poverty far from home to create a better life for themselves and for their families. Many of the world’s migrants do this because there’s no better alternative. “History has shown us that people will always migrate,” says Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis’ Advocacy coordinator for Migration, Trafficking and Gender, “but Caritas would like migrants to be able to make an informed choice, based on different opportunities, about whether to leave their countries or not.” Lack of opportunities in their home countries is one reason why people migrate. People may also go abroad to work because of war, poverty or so they can better support their families by sending money – remittances - home. “Around half the world’s migrants are women and Caritas Internationalis focuses its migration work on women,” says Ms [...]

Imagine a migrant’s rights protected: Migrants rights

By |29 August 2010|

• Priority should be given to economic and social policies which promote development in poorer countries so people do not feel forced to migrate, • Restrictive migration policies are not the answer. More opportunities in countries of origin would make staying at home more enticing, • Better regulation of the labour market to help avoid exploitation. Caritas urges governments and firms to provide decent work conditions. At the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking Conference in Vienna in February, Caritas called on world leaders to honour the commitments they made to tackle poverty and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Unfulfilled pledges lead to the despair and injustice which provide fertile ground for trafficking and slavery. At the COATNET (Christian Organisations Against Trafficking) meeting in October in Paris, Caritas highlighted the need for commitment to empowering women in the family and fighting the trafficking of children. At the Global Forum on Migration and Development [...]

Imagine a migrant’s rights protected: Caritas in action

By |29 August 2010|

Caritas organisations belong to ERSO (European Reintegration Support Organisations). Led by Caritas Austria, it offers counselling to migrants before they leave their country. In 2008, the project focused on assisting migrants on their return home, especially those who had been rejected for asylum. The book “The Travails of Sri Lankan Migrants” by Fr George Sigamoney, director of Caritas Kandy in Sri Lanka, shows the hardships faced by women who migrate and their families. Caritas Sri Lanka also released a DVD docu-drama about the plight of migrants called, “The House of the Arabian Child.” Caritas Dakar engaged in support of women from rural areas. They received microcredit to be able earn their living in their villages rather than be forced to migrate to urban areas. They were also encouraged to create women’s organisations. Migrants represent 3 percent of the global population An estimated 2.4 million people are trafficked at any given point in time [...]

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