During an event held in Geneva on Monday, the Migrants In Countries In Crisis Initiative (MICIC) launched its “Guidelines to protect migrants in countries experiencing conflict or natural disaster”. Started in 2014, the MICIC Initiative seeks to improve the protection of migrants when the countries in which they live, work, study or travel are affected by conflict or natural disaster.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, the Chairman of the Committee on Migration of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles raised their concern over the recent US Supreme Court’s ruling on immigration policy. With a tied vote of 4 to 4, the US Supreme Court blocked the Obama administration’s plan to temporarily protect about 5 million undocumented migrants from deportation.
Speaking as a panelist during a side event connected to the annual meeting of the UNHCR Steering Committee, ICMC’s Secretary General, Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, shared yesterday his wishes for a wide inclusion of civil society and faith-based actors in the United Nations General Assembly’s upcoming summit on large migration movements.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops recently issued a press statement voicing their deep concern over the Kenyan government’s proposal to close refugee camps. The Episcopal Conference urged the government to reconsider its position, highlighting the fact that the country has always been at the forefront of the world’s humanitarian efforts of hosting refugees.
On Sunday, Pope Francis appealed for solidarity with refugees ahead of the United Nations World Refugee Day. The Pope recalled that the theme for this year’s event is “We stand together #WithRefugees” and with all those forced to flee their lands. Refugees, he insisted, are people like everyone else, who have been deprived by war of their homes, their jobs, their parents and their friends.
To commemorate World Refugee Day on 20 June 2016, the International Catholic Migration Commission is launching a public call to share messages and stories of support and solidarity towards refugees worldwide. With more than 60 million people fleeing violence, conflicts or persecutions, a lack of legal channels to allow people to migrate safely, there is an urgent need to support refugees.
Jahmir* is a forty-one year old journalist from Iraq. Last year, together with his wife and four children, he was resettled from Turkey to the USA. ICMC assisted Jahmir and his family in their resettlement process. In Istanbul, they received medical examinations and cultural orientation classes at the Resettlement Support Center Turkey and Middle East.
Maliha* is a young Rohingya woman. The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim minority from Myanmar, a State in Southeast Asia also known as Burma. Without official legal recognition in their own country, stateless and marginalized, the Rohingya lack access to basic services, such as health care and education.
Peggy and Tom are two Americans living in Pennsylvania, USA. Their father, Joe, had sponsored and hosted more than 50 Vietnamese refugee families in his home during the Southeast Asian refugee crisis in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Vietnam War took a dreadful toll on the lives of millions of people, who escaped by sea on rickety boats, making them known as “boat people”.
Ana* is a Ukrainian woman, living in Connecticut, in the United States. A supporter of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), Ana understands well the suffering of those who are uprooted by conflict. During the Second World War, together with her family, she fled from Ukraine to Landeck, a village in Western Austria, where they became refugees.