SIMN Participates in the XX Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Cáritas

Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, June 6, 2023 – At the invitation of the organizers of the XX Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Cáritas, which took place in Puerto Rico from May 31 to June 5, Víctor Genina, Director of Policy and Advocacy at SIMN, actively participated in the dedicated session of the Congress focused on pastoral migration.

In his speech, while highlighting the accumulated experience of the Scalabrinian congregation, he emphasized the importance of seeking comprehensive care for migrants. This encompasses a range of services, starting from emergency humanitarian aid such as shelter, food, and medical care, to facilitating their complete integration into the host society, where migrants can fully develop their potential. To achieve this, it is crucial to foster collaboration among government authorities, academic institutions, and the private sector. It is essential that responses to migrants actively involve and benefit the local population, as this helps prevent the emergence of anti-immigrant narratives and reactions.

The meeting fostered a fruitful exchange of concerns and experiences, touching upon various issues. These included the challenges migrants face in accessing the formal labor market and the limited capacity of the government to effectively implement laws that aim to provide migrants with identity and work documents. However, it was also evident that positive outcomes are achieved when churches and associations establish effective communication channels and collaborative approaches with local authorities and other key stakeholders, such as universities, the private sector, and civil society organizations.

It is worth highlighting that this exchange, apart from being mutually enriching and a testament to the collaborative possibilities enabled by the spirit of synodality, also facilitated discussions on global and regional initiatives, such as the World Refugee Forum (December 2023) and the Quito Process. It is precisely due to these reasons that SIMN would like to express its sincere gratitude to Cáritas for the invitation to participate in its congress, as it provided an invaluable platform for such fruitful exchanges.