For many years, the Ministry of Human Mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean has been strengthening and advancing the recognition, defense and promotion of the rights and dignity of migrants. The conference, grounded in the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church, was attended by a large number of ecclesiastical and religious authorities, as well as by laity and representatives of civil society organizations, whose missions are to discover the best options formobile populations, understanding their high vulnerability and suffering. Mobile populations, which include thousands of people living in the region, must move not only in search of better opportunities, but many times for basic survival.
“The congress counted 4 areas of action. The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), Pastoral of Tourism, Pastoral of Itinerants and Pastoral of Migrants, and Refugees and Displaced People. ”
This event allowed participants to work dynamically on issues ranging from the general to the particular. The first day of the congress had attendees working together to understand the state of migration: current challenges in each thematic area, with every discussion led by an expert panel. The congress’ second day focused on not only identifying current problems, but also on developing immediate action strategies as well as future strategies.
The presence of bishops, priests, sisters and laity- some involved in the Pastoral of Human Mobility, or in human mobility organizations- helped the congress formulate a vision of the Church’s future path, as well a plan for future interactions with civil society organizations; in the search for synergies and incidence, the latter is key to the creation of public and regional policies.
“Representatives from the SIMN headquarters in New York, with directors and collaborators throughout Latin America, participated in this first congress, where experience, effort and various challenges came together and reached a consensus that would provide tangible solutions in human mobility.”
“This type of event enriches us, as it allows us to meet people and institutions with which we can share a mission: to achieve the dignity and ensure the rights of mobile populations. Undoubtedly, these commitments, above all the product of teamwork, result in positive outcomes. Having these challenges in writing not only allows us to mark a collective course, but also allows us to measure our achievements.”
Father Leonir Chiarello, Executive Director of SIMN