Migration and Asylum today - “We cannot set borders to our concern”

     




Migration and Asylum today - “We cannot set borders to our concern” (For Maltese translation, kindly scroll down the page)

Statement of the Jesuit Provincials of Europe and the Middle East and of Africa-Madagascar - Rome, Friday October 25th, 2013. 

We have all seen, in the last number of weeks, the terrible suffering caused to migrants and their families, dramatised in the recent Lampedusa tragedy.  In the last twenty years many thousands have died trying to reach Europe. Pope Francis visited Lampedusa and expressed his sympathy outrage and sorrow at the desperate suffering of the migrants. We, the Jesuit Provincials and Major superiors of Europe and the Middle East and of Africa-Madagascar, represent over 6,000 Jesuits across our two continents. We join the Pope in his care and concern for the migrants taking enormous risks to find a better life and fleeing from life-threatening situations in their homelands. We make this statement because we believe this is a time of urgency for our societies in the face of this grave moral issue.

Save lives – a basic moral imperative

The reasons for migratory and refugee flows are complex. Among the most significant are: wars, persecution, economic instability,  environmental catastrophe and failed states that cannot provide for their populations. Whatever the reasons, the Lampedusa tragedy shows us that we are all called back to our basic human duty to save lives. We cannot escape that moral imperative. 

Stop Arms supplies to Africa

Europe must accept its share of responsibility for global migratory flows.  Many European states or their corporations supply arms to Africa, often covertly. These arms supplies fuel conflicts, which, in turn, fuel migratory flows.  Our world is so interconnected that we cannot place the border of our concern at the Mediterranean. 

The Dublin Regulation

Many European countries are hospitable to asylum seekers. But the ‘Dublin Regulation’, which states that the countries where they first land have responsibility for assessing their asylum applications, does not facilitate an equal sharing of asylum flows. All of the countries of Europe should support each other in solidarity on this issue and should take joint responsibility for asylum and migrant issues.

Stop Detention of Asylum seekers; improve conditions for migrants in detention

  • We oppose the detention of asylum seekers. Alternatives to detention are available; some governments have used them and they have worked well. 
  • Children, whether migrants or asylum seekers, should be afforded much better protection. In addition, their right to quality education should be ensured.
  • Detention conditions of migrants are often sub-human.  While we realise that national governments and their social protection systems are stretched, basic human conditions and care of spiritual needs are morally mandatory.

Do not engage in extreme Political discourse

We are concerned about the way in which politicians across a broad spectrum are allowing themselves to be influenced by politicians of the far right.  As the search for votes and election success becomes more intense, political discourse is in danger of being held hostage to extremist forms of populism. We call on politicians to ensure that such extremists do not dictate the tone of political debate. The Europe of the 20th century showed the tragedy of what happens when extremist groups are allowed set the agenda and take control. We urge all those in the home countries of the migrants to work for peace and justice in their own countries that all their citizens may find a safe and secure home for their families.

Support those who are helping to make things better

We commend the courageous efforts of so many episcopal conferences, church groups and NGOs in Europe who have made the practical service of refugees and migrants, and advocacy on their behalf, a high priority. As Jesuits, we especially thank the Jesuit Refugee Service, the SJM (Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes) in Spain and other Jesuit organisations for all the work they do with such commitment and professionalism. As the Society of Jesus in Europand the Middle East and in Africa-Madagascar we renew our dedication to the service of marginalised and poorest of the poor in our countries and commend migrants to the prayers of believers, and the care and concern of all people of good will. 

Note: The Jesuit Provincials of Europe and the Middle East approved this statement at their annual meeting in Rome, October 17th-23rd 2013.  The Jesuit Provincials of Africa and Madagascar approved it electronically. 

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Stqarrija tal-Provinċjali Ġiżwiti ta’ l-Ewropa u tal-Lvant Nofsani u ta’ Afrika-Madagaskar - Ruma, il-Ġimgħa, 25 ta’ Ottubru 2013 

Emigrazzjoni u Refuġju llum  -  “Ma nistgħux inqegħdu limiti għal dak li jikkonċernana"

Aħna lkoll rajna, f’dan l-aħħar numru ta’ ġimgħat, it-tbatija terribbli kkaġunata lill-emigranti u lill-familji tagħhom, drammatiżżata fit-traġedja reċenti ta’ Lampedusa. F’dawn l-aħħar għoxrin sena, eluf mietu waqt li kienu qed jippruvaw  jaslu l-Ewropa. Il-Papa Franġisku żar Lampedusa u wera is-simpatija, l-għadab u n-niket tiegħu għat-tbatija bla tama ta’ l-emigranti. Aħna, il-Provinċjali Ġiżwiti u s-Superjuri Maġġuri tal-Ewropa u tal-Lvant Nofsani u tal-Afrika-Madagaskar, nirrappreżentaw aktar minn 6,000 Ġiżwita fiż-żewġ kontinenti. Ningħaqdu mal-Papa fil-kura u fit-tħassib għall-emigranti,  dawn l-emigranti li qed jieħdu riskji enormi biex ifittxu ħajja aħjar u jaħarbu minn sitwazzjonijiet f’pajjiżhom li jheddulhom ħajjithom. Qed nagħmlu din l-istqarrija għaliex nemmnu li dan huwa żmien ta’ urġenza għas-soċjetajiet tagħna fil-konfront ta’ din is-sitwazzjoni morali gravi.

Insalvaw ħajjiet – ħtieġa morali fundamentali urġenti

Ir-raġunijiet tal-kurrenti ta’ emigrazzjoni u ta’ rifuġju huma kumplessi.  Fost l-iżjed sinifikattivi huma: il-gwerer, il-persekuzzjoni, l-instabiltà ekonomika, id-diżastru tal-ambjent u stati falluti li ma jistgħux jipprovdu għall-populazzjoni tagħhom. Huma xinhuma r-raġunijiet, it-traġedja ta’ Lampedusa turina li aħna lkoll imsejħin lura  għad-dmir uman fundamentali biex insalvaw ħajjiet. Ma nistgħux naħarbu minn din il-ħtieġa urġenti.

Iqfu u tkomplux tgħaddu armi lill-Afrika  

L-Ewropa għandha taċċetta s-sehem tagħha ta’ responsabbiltà għall-kurrenti globali tal-emigrazzjoni. Bosta  Stati Ewropej jew il-korporazzjonijiet tagħhom jgħaddu provisti ta’ armi lill-Afrika, ħafna drabi bil-moħbi. Dawn il-provisti jqabbdu ġlied u dan il-ġlied jikkaġuna l-kurrenti tal-emigranti. Id-dinja tagħna hija hekk inter-konnessa li ma nistgħux nillimitaw it-tħassib tagħna fil-Mediterran.

Ir-Regolament ta’ Dublin

Bosta pajjiżi Ewropej qed jilqgħu lil dawk li jkunu qed ifittxu refuġju. Iżda ir “Regolament ta’ Dublin”, li jgħid li l-pajjizi fejn ir-refuġjati l-ewwel jinżlu l-art għandhom ir-responsabbiltà li jeżaminawlhom l-applikazzjoni għal refuġju, mhux qed ikunu faċli biex jagħtu s-sehemhom indaqs  għall-kurrent tar-refuġju.  Il-pajjiżi kollha ta’ l-Ewropa għandhom jgħinu lil xulxin f’solidarietà f’din il-problema u jieħdu responsabbiltà waħda bejniethom għall-problemi tar-refuġju u l-emigrazzjoni.

Iqfu u tkomplux izzommu f’detensjoni lil dawk li qed ifittxu ir-Refuġju: tejbu l-kondizzjonijiet għall-emigranti fid-detensjoni 

  •  Aħna kontra id-detensjoni ta’ dawk li qed ifittxu r-refuġju. Hemm modi oħra flok id-detensjoni: xi gvernijiet użawhom u sabuhom jaħdmu tajjeb.
  • Lit-tfal, sew jekk ikunu emigranti u sew jekk ikunu qed ifittxu refuġju, għandha tingħatalhom protezzjoni wisq aħjar.
  • Il-kundizzjonijiet fid-detensjoni tal-emigranti huma ħafna drabi sub-umani. Waqt li aħna nirrealizzaw li gvernijiet nazzjonali u s-sistemi tal-protezzjoni tagħhom huma magħfusin,  il-kundizzjonijiet umani bażiċi u l-kura tal-ħtiġijiet spiritwali huma legalment obbligatorji.

Tokkupawx ruħkom f’diskorsi Politiċi estremi

Aħna mħassbin bil-mod li xi politiċi fin-numru kbir tagħhom qed iħallu lilhom infushom ikunu nfluwenzati mill-politiċi tal-lemin estrem. Malli it-tfittxija tal-voti u tas-suċċess elettorali issir aktar intensa, id-diskors politiku jiġi f’periklu li jkun iddominat min forom estremi ta’ populiżmu. Nappellaw lill-politiċi biex jiżguraw li dawn l-estremisti ma jiddettawx it-ton tad-dibattitu politiku. L-Ewropa tas-seklu 20 uriet it-traġedja ta’ x’jiġri meta gruppi estremisti jitħallew jorganizzaw l-agenda  u jieħdu f’idejhom il-kontroll. Nisħqu ma’ dawk kollha li qegħdin fil-pajjiżi tal-emigranti biex jaħdmu għall-paċi u l-ġustizzja f’pajjiżhom sabiex iċ-ċittadini tagħhom kollha jsibu dar salva u sgura għall-familji tagħhom.

Sostnu lil dawk li qed jgħejnu biex itejbu l-affarijiet

Infaħħru l-isforzi kuraġġużi ta’ ħafna konferenzi episkopali, gruppi tal-knisja u Organizzazzjonijiet non-Governattivi (NGO) fl-Ewropa li taw prijorità kbira għas-servizz prattiku tar-refuġjati u emigranti u għall-avvokatura fuvur tagħhom. Bħala Ġiżwiti, aħna niżżuħajr b’mod speċjali lis-Servizz  tal-Ġiżwiti għar-Refuġjati (JRS), lis-Servizz tal-Ġiżwiti għall-Emigranti (SJM) fi Spanja u lill-organizzazzjonijiet  Ġiżwiti oħra għax-xogħol li qed jagħmlu b’tant impenn u professjonaliżmu. Bħala Kumpanija ta’ Ġesù fl-Ewropa u fil-Lvant Nofsani u fl-Afrika-Madagaskar, aħna nġeddu id-dedikazzjoni tagħna għas-servizz ta’ dawk li huma emarginati u ta’ l-aktar fqar fost il-foqra fil-pajjiżi tagħna, u nirrakkmandaw  l-emigranti għat-talb tal-insara u għall-kura u tħassib tal-poplu kollu tar-rieda tajba.

Nota: Il-Provinċjali Ġiżwiti tal-Ewropa u tal-Lvant Nofsani approvaw din l-istqarrija fil-laqgħa annwali f’Ruma, f’Ottubru 17-23, 2013. Il-Provinċjali Ġiżwiti tal-Afrika u Madagaskar approvawha b’mod elettroniku.

 

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