We are living in new times and the possibilities for engaging in advocacy through networking continue to multiply, including within the Church. In this regard, we consider the Vatican's initiative to defend the rights of migrants and refugees to be very important.
In September 2016, the summit on refugees and migrants was held in New York, which included the commitment to negotiate a new Global Compact on Migrants and Refugees. These pacts must gather new regulatory frameworks for migrants and refugees that respond to current challenges. In December 2016, international leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly and agreed on the process to negotiate those pacts and their adoption at the close of the UN General Assembly in 2018.
The Holy See has taken advantage of this process to orchestrate, for the first time, a coordinated action carried out by the whole Church aimed at influencing policy and mobilizing the worldwide Catholic social base. To do so, it uses 4 verbs "Accept, Protect, Promote and Integrate Migrants, Refugees and Victims of Human Trafficking" and 20 concrete and practical action points (20 pastoral and the same 20 in technical terms, for political advocacy). The 20 points are the result of dialogue with Catholic institutions and Bishops’ Conferences.
Pope Francis will participate as Head of State, the Holy See, in the intergovernmental negotiations that will be held throughout 2018. In addition, the 20 action points have been sent to the United Nations and are already among the preparatory documents for the Covenants.
What does the Holy See ask and need?:
- To inform, "make noise", raise awareness about the Global Compacts in 2018 in our countries, making them widely known to the public.
- To articulate, in the way that is possible, with the global Caritas campaign “Share the Journey”.
- To support the Episcopal Conferences in each country to send to the respective governments a strong and consensual voice of the Church, using as a foundation the 20 action points.
To learn more about what Jesuit works are doing to contribute to the Pope’s call, take a look here.