The World Refugee Day 2016 is over, but we stand for refugees every day.
The Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) renews everyday its commitment to work with governments, international organizations, and civil society, including refugee protection agencies, to protect refugees and their families worldwide.
With 65.3 million people displaced in the world in 2015 —the most since World War II— collaboration and shared responsibility between governments of countries of origin, transit and destination, with support from international organizations and civil society, are urgently needed to save lives and give our brothers and sisters the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Pope Francis, who has spoken out tirelessly on behalf of immigrants and refugees, issued an appeal for solidarity with and mercy for them. Addressing thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square after the Angelus, on Sunday, June 19, 2016, he emphasized that refugees are human beings and implored us not to turn away from their increasingly desperate cries for assistance: “Their stories and their faces call on us to renew our commitment for building peace through justice,” he stated. For this reason, he concluded, we need to stand together with them, “to meet them, to welcome them, to listen to them, to become with them builders of peace, according to God’s will.”
In response to this invitation of Pope Francis, SIMN will continue its services, advocacy, research, and educational and networking programs to protect migrants, refugees, internally displaced people and seafarers in 34 countries, in five continents. In addition, SIMN is working on the organization of the next edition of the International Forum on Migration and Peace to stimulate high-level dialogue and define concrete actions to strengthen the multifaceted bonds between migration and refugee flows and peaceful coexistence.
Moreover, SIMN looks forward to working with member states to achieve positive outcomes from the United Nation’s Summit on the Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, to be held in September in New York. Through this summit and collective action, the international community can address the record number of displaced in the world and offer them durable solutions to their plight. We are offering, as we have always done, our expertise and experience in this effort.
Pope Francis has referred to the “globalization of indifference” that pervades the world. We urge nations to end such indifference and work together to end the global refugee crisis now.
We stand ready to assist in this effort. The World Refugee Day is over, but the global refugee crisis is not.
The vulnerable persons that are escaping from violence, war and poverty deserve an international community ready to help them and to look at them as human beings and members of the same humanity, in order to ensure dignified life conditions for all of them and the respect of their human rights in the present and the future.
Day by day our work and our commitment will be more and more determined in that direction.
We know that a solution is possible. Together, citizens and institutions, we can do it.
Thanks to everybody for being with us, and supporting us.
Fr. Leonir Mario Chiarello c.s.