Dear friends and colleagues,
As many of you will recall, with the 2011 General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis and the ensuing 2011-2015 Strategic Framework entitled “One Human Family, Zero Poverty”, it was decided that the CI General Secretariat was to coordinate a global anti-poverty campaign. As a result, we launched the “One Human Family, Food for All” campaign through a global wave on prayer on 10th December 2013.
With the CI General Assembly held in 2015 and the 2015-2019 Strategic Framework entitled “One Human Family Caring for Creation”, a fresh impetus was given to acting together through concerted international efforts to tackle poverty by means of a new confederation-wide campaign.
We are writing to you today to inform you that, at the last meeting of the Representative Council of Caritas Internationalis, it was agreed that this is the time for our confederation to work together in solidarity to tackle poverty and social exclusion through a balanced approach to migration and the international protection of people on the move.
In today’s increasingly globalised world, the scale, pace and scope within which people move across the globe is greater than ever – and this is something we simply cannot ignore. In many cases, greater movement is a testament to the successes of global development and progress in communications. But, of course, there are still many more who feel compelled to move as a result of economic or political pressures.
We live in challenging but hopeful times in which the politics of human mobility has, too often, been framed in crude terms of “us” and “them” with scant regard for humanity and the Church traditions of neighbourliness and fraternity. That leaves us all with a complex set of duties and responsibilities to balance, both in the domestic and international arena. What has not changed is Caritas’ commitment to serving those who most need our help.
In the Gospel, the question “who is my neighbour?” led Jesus to recount the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus makes two subtle points, first calling people to follow the example of the Samaritan, the foreigner who went to the aid of the wounded traveller; and secondly, answering the question by suggesting that neighbourliness may mean receiving care from a member of a despised social group. Neighbourliness, as well as fraternity, are not just about how we relate to and what we do for others. They are also about what we are willing to receive from those we sometimes fear, ignore or despise.
And this is why now more than ever we need to seek and encourage a renewed dialogue about migration, which ceases to use people as political cyphers and looks instead at who is being asked to bear the cost of forced migration. We also need to build on the resources of neighbourliness and fraternity we can mobilise together as a confederation to make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by forced migration.
Likewise, the inclusion of migration into the Sustainable Development Goals in recognition of the role that human mobility plays in reducing poverty and inequality within and across countries is one of the key innovations of the 2030 International Development Agenda.
In fact, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted unanimously by the United Nation’s 193 Member States during the Post-2015 Summit in September 2015, has included migration for the first time in the Global Development Framework, recognising “well-managed migration’s integral role in and immense contribution to sustainable development.”
From a design angle, seeing as migration can address a vast array of issues, such as labour rights for migrant workers, reducing remittance transaction costs or ending modern slavery and trafficking, the next steps will be for us to set up an ad hoc working group to start work on defining the specific focus of the next global campaign. The resources for this two-year campaign will be made available to all Member Organisations in January 2017 with a view to launching it in May 2017. Please make contact with CI’s Campaigns Coordinator Alfonso Apicella at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask to take part in the advancement of the campaign design and implementation.
We are confident that this new campaign will further strengthen our confederation globally in giving greater awareness of the issues at stake. In order for it to be effective, it will require a large amount of participation, interest and engagement from all of you.
We would therefore like to thank you in advance for your continued support and involvement, whilst looking forward to us delivering on our commitments to help people migrate out of poverty.
With all good wishes and God’s abundant blessings
S. Em. Luis Card. Tagle