The Protection and Integration of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations: The Case of Faith-Based Organizations

New York, June 5, 2018 – The Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the United Nations and the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, together with the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), held a Side Event entitled “The Protection and Integration of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations: The Case of Faith-Based Organizations”. The event took place on Monday, June 4, 2018, at the United Nations Headquarters, during the fifth round of negotiations on the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. 

The aim of this side event was —within the framework of the negotiations of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — to facilitate a reflection and discussion on the main challenges and responses for the protection and integration of migrants in vulnerable situations, especially the selected target groups of women and girls, families, and the selected target areas of health care and dignified work. In this discussion, faith-based organizations engaged with migrants and their families, serving them as first responders and providing them a range of health-related, social, economic and cultural support at local, national and international levels. The faith-based organizations presented their responsibility sharing perspectives for the implementation of the Global Compact, in collaboration with the UN Members States.

In addition, the overall objective was to create the space for government representatives, faith-based organizations, and other multi-stakeholders to engage in a highly interactive dialogue with the panelists and each other.

We are doing our best to respond to the needs of migrants and to work with governments to provide them protection, where possible, but much more needs to be done, both legally and materially, to help them, but particularly those who fall through the international protection gaps, especially the more vulnerable migrants and refugees, including women, children, families and people without access to health care, education and housing. The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, as well as the Global Compact on Refugees, is a historic opportunity to fill those gaps and to formalize the partnership between faith-based organizations and member states in addressing the challenges of migration governance,” stated Fr. Leonir Chiarello, Executive Director of SIMN, in his intervention.

About SIMN – SIMN is supporting more than 250 Scalabrini 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 on five continents. In 2017, Scalabrini centers supported 136,319 migrants and refugees and 227,785 seafarers around the world. SIMN also supports a network of schools providing education, supplies, and food to thousands of vulnerable children. 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.