Participation of SIMN at the XXIV World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS)

The main objective of the World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea is to gather the largest number of active members representing the different realities of the Apostleship of the Sea around the world.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan, October 2, 2017 – The Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) will be participating at the XXIV World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) from October 1 to 7, 2017. The World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea themes have always refer to the commercial maritime world and its problems, for which a space and a very limited period of time have been allocated to the fishing sector. Nevertheless, in practice, the Apostleship of the Sea has always been worried about the fishermen’s situation worldwide, often intervening on discussions and debates generated by international organization such as ILO, FAO, etc. 

This year’s theme will be ‘Caught in the Net’, and the Congress will explore how the Church, through the work of AoS port chaplains and volunteers in ports and harbors globally, can further enhance its support for fishermen, often called the “forgotten seafarers”. The XXIV World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) will discuss the trafficking of migrant fishermen, forced labor on board fishing vessels and illegal fishing.

All members of the Apostleship of the Sea must be aware of the issues and problems that the world of fishing is facing. This Congress is expected to increase the knowledge of each member of the Apostleship of the Sea as well as the awareness of the fishermen, who have been defined as the “forgotten seafarers”, and to reaffirm that the church does not forget them, but rather walks with them.

It is a very significant moment for the Fishers, because the Church is taking a step on their behalf. The 250 participants prove this. In this way, when each one of them goes back to his AoS center there will be a worldwide network of lobbying, making the life of fishers easier to be protected and safe”, says the Executive Assistant of SIMN.

About SIMN – SIMN is supporting more than 250 Scalabrinian centers, shelters and programs that are providing lodging, food, training and employment programs; psychological and religious services; protection to victims of human trafficking and support in the integration process to migrants, refugees and seafarers in five continents. In 2016, for example, Scalabrinian Centers has supported 120,738 migrants and refugees and 172,790 seafarers around the world. SIMN is also supporting a network of schools providing education, school supplies, and food, (possibly their only meal of the day) to thousands of needy children. In addition, SIMN is an accredited Non-Governmental Organization at the United Nations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS) and from this perspective is providing research and support for regional and global policies to protect and promote the dignity and the rights of migrants and their families.