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     Home > Charity and Solidarity  >  2013-07-09 18:34:26
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Pope’s visit to Lampedusa: UNHCR and IOM Applaud

Vatican City, 9 July 2013: "From the visit and the words of Pope Francis came especially the invitation to the social and political responsibility, to overcome the indifference in the face of migration in the last two years, challenging the conscience of citizens around the world", said Msgr. Giancarlo Perego, director of the Foundation of Migrants of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), commenting on the visit of Pope Francesco to Lampedusa on Monday. According to Perego, Pope’s words clearly indicated two areas - Condemnation of trafficking of human beings, and an urgent invitation to govern this situation of mobility, which for us means more cooperation, more commitment to create humanitarian channels through which people can move safely fleeing from situations of persecution and war.

"For us, the Pope's visit to Lampedisa was a gesture of great symbolic and human value," said Laurens Jolles, Director for Southern Europe, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "Who more than the Pope - said Jolles - can in fact be able to focus attention on the urgency of offering better tolerance to welcome migrants? Pope Francis invited us to have the courage to welcome those seeking a better life. It’s true - as the Holy Father said - that we are all responsible for these tragic events and we can, in our small way, help to improve the situation. Then, it is up to the politicians and the international community to solve the problem of violence, persecution, wars, which cause these migrations.

"It’s true - concluded Jolles - that there is always also a responsibility of the countries from which people are fleeing, which fail to provide protection to these people. Then there are those traffickers who exploit the misery and fear of these migrants. Although we must admit that these people are often forced to use these riskier channels in order to escape from such dangerous situations", added Jolles.

According to José Angel Oropeza, Head of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Italy and Malta, and to the Holy See, the Pope's Lampedusa "visit will open the eyes and heart of many people who have the responsibility to make decisions regarding the acceptance and protection of migrants' rights, to ensure that they open channels of legal immigration." "The truth is that here in Europe - said the Head of Mission IOM - we need manpower and therefore also of these people. But we have to get them in an orderly and human fashion. He hoped that Europe must make an effort to solve this problem of forced migration - he added - because it is a phenomenon that will continue."
"It’s true - said Oropeza - you cannot keep the doors of Europe open indiscriminately, but we can establish channels of legal immigration, for example, creating temporary work opportunities for economic migrants.
Source: VR Sedoc


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