WORKSHOP - Immigration & Emigration

Date: 19 September – From 6.00 pm
Language: English

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25, 35).

Mobility is one of the characteristics that better defines our contemporary societies. The reasons to move within a country or to another are varied: sometimes, the search for better socio-economic prospects; others, flee from violence and persecution or even deteriorating environmental conditions which hinder the daily lives of people. In this respect, we must remind that, before the right to migrate, any person has the right not to emigrate from his or her home country. In order to give answers to these various mobility situations, solutions should be crosscutting, comprehensive and global, taking into account that forced migration can only be overcome when addressing the causes that motivates people to move.
The need of people to migrate or look for asylum and the limited chances to do so in certain cases, has paved the way for the operations of organized criminal gangs that seek to profit from the irregular transfer of migrants to other country, or even from labour or sexual exploitation when they reach their country of destination. The Church is not indifferent to the real and genuine human needs of every individual, and defends the dignity of each person in the context of the common good, which is, ultimately, universal. Therefore, an accurate reflection on the complex dimensions of migration is always needed, leading to practical proposals for action within the Church, but also in the society, to help migrants to contribute to the common good of the society, and also to live along with their families getting the necessary means for a decent life.

Throughout the discussion and exchange of opinions, experiences and perspectives based on the Social Doctrine of the Church in the area of migration and asylum, the workshop is aimed at to reflect on how to build up a more humane and fair society and give the most adequate answer, for the sake of the common good, to the unstoppable phenomenon of people moving, while respecting the human dignity of every single human person. In that respect, urgent areas of reflection are:

    • Which are the costs (social, familiar, economic...ones) of non-integration of migrants into society and how to improve integration measures that might give migrants the chance to feel respected and appreciated, and at the same time giving them the chance to contribute to the common good?
    • How to face the increasing populism and hostility towards migrants in our societies, and bridge the gap between them and the rest of the society?
    • Which are the legitimate State measures to control its borders while giving a humane answer to the pressing need of those who reach its territory with no legal ground to enter or to remain into it? How to face smuggling of irregular migrants?

A panel discussion followed by an open debate.

Chairman: His Excellency Mgr Arrigo Miglio, Archibishop of Cagliari
Speaker: Mr. Johan Ketelers (ICMC Secretary General, International Catholic Migration Commision)
Panelists: Prof. Dr. José Tomás Raga (Director General, Paul VI Foundation, Spain)
Mr. Jànos Józsa (Episcopia Romano Catolica de Satu Mare, Romania)