Message for the world day of migrants and refugees

Benedict XVI. Has called for better integration of immigrants and stressed respect for their rights worldwide. The Vatican yesterday published the message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. "There are real difficulties" especially for refugee families, Pope says. "Legislative, legal and social interventions" are necessary, he said. Explicitly, Benedict XVI stressed. The inadequate housing in refugee camps. Women and children in particular would become victims of trafficking and prostiution out of necessity to survive. The World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on 14. The theme for 2007 is "The Migrant Family". Here are some excerpts from the Pope's message – read in the wording by Father Eberhard von Gemmingen.

Human trafficking is modern slavery In presenting the papal message, Cardinal of the Curia Renato Raffaele Martino denounced the situation of women and children in particular. In the struggle for survival, they fell into the mechanism of human trafficking. This is modern slavery, according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The Pope's message in full Dear brothers and sisters!On the occasion of the upcoming World Day of Migrants and Refugees, with the Holy Family of Nazareth, the icon of all families, I would like to invite you to reflect on the life situation of the migrant family. The evangelist Matthew reports that shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph was forced to flee to Egypt during the night to escape persecution by King Herod (cf. Mt 2:13-15). Explaining this Gospel passage, my venerable predecessor, the Servant of God Pope Pius XII wrote., In 1952: "The family of Nazareth in exile – Jesus, Mary and Joseph, who emigrated to Egypt and sought refuge there to escape the wrath of an ungodly king – is the model, the example and the support of all emigrants and pilgrims of every age and origin, of all refugees of every condition of life who, through persecution or hardship, find themselves forced to leave their homeland, dear relatives, neighbors and friends, and go to a foreign land" (Exsul familia, AAS 44, 1952, 649). In the drama of the family of Nazareth, forced to flee to Egypt, we recognize the painful life situation of all migrants, especially refugees, exiles, displaced persons, asylum seekers, the persecuted. We recognize the difficulties of each migrant family, the deprivations, the humiliations, the distress and the weakness of millions and millions of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The family of Nazareth reflects the image of God that is preserved in the heart of every human family, even if it has been disfigured and invalidated by emigration.The theme of the upcoming World Day of Migrants and Refugees – "The Migrant Family" – follows on from the themes of 1980, 1986 and 1993, and wishes to emphasize once again the Church's commitment not only to the individual migrant, but also to his family, place and source of the culture of life and factor for the inclusion of values. The family of the migrant encounters many difficulties. The distances between their members and the lack of reunion often break the original ties. New relationships are forged and new affection is born; the distance and loneliness put them to the test, making them forget the past and their own duties. If the immigrant family is not guaranteed a real possibility of integration and participation, it is difficult to foresee a harmonious development for them. Through the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which entered into force on 1. July 2003, aims to protect migrant workers and the members of their respective families. This means recognizing the value of the family also with regard to emigration, a phenomenon that is now structurally anchored in our societies. The Church supports the ratification of international remedies aimed at defending the rights of migrants and refugees, as well as their families, and offers, through various institutions and associations, that advocacy which is ever more urgently needed. To this end, counseling centers and migrant reception centers have been established, as well as offices to serve individuals and families, and other initiatives have been launched to meet the growing needs in this area.Much is already being done for the integration of immigrant families, even if much remains to be done. There are real difficulties related to the "defense mechanisms" of the first generation of immigrants, which threaten to become an obstacle to the maturation process of the young people of the second generation. Therefore, it is necessary to provide for legislative, legal and social interventions to facilitate integration. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of women who leave their home country in search of better living conditions, with the prospect of promising career prospects. However, quite a few women are victims of human trafficking and prostitution. In the reunification of families, social workers, and especially women religious among them, can provide a valuable mediation service that deserves ever greater respect.Regarding the integration of immigrant families, I feel obliged to draw attention to the families of refugees, whose living conditions seem to have deteriorated in contrast to the past, also with regard to family reunification. In the refugee camps to which they are admitted, there are not only difficulties of accommodation and personal difficulties tied to the trauma and psychological stress arising from the tragic experiences that the refugees have lived through. In addition, there is sometimes even the danger that women and children will be sexually abused as a mechanism for survival. In these cases, there is a need for an attentive pastoral presence that, in addition to the assistance that can give relief to wounded hearts, offers support from the Christian community, capable of restoring the culture of respect and rediscovering the true value of love. It is necessary to encourage those who are inwardly destroyed to regain their self-confidence. It is also necessary to work to guarantee the rights and dignity of families and to ensure that they have housing that meets their needs. Refugees are called upon to adopt an open and positive attitude towards the society that welcomes them, and to make themselves actively available to proposals for participation in the joint construction of an integrated community that is to be a "common house" for all. Among the migrants, there is a category that must be given special attention: that of students from other countries who are far from home, without sufficient language skills, sometimes without friends, and not infrequently with only inadequate scholarships. Their situation becomes even more difficult when they are married students. The Church, through its institutions, strives to make the absence of family support less painful for these young students and helps them integrate into the cities that welcome them by putting them in contact with families willing to offer them hospitality and facilitate mutual acquaintance. I have already had occasion to say elsewhere: coming to the aid of foreign students "represents for the Church an important area of pastoral activity. The young people who leave their country for their studies face not a few problems, in particular there is the danger of a crisis of identity" (L'Osservatore Romano, engl., No.2, 13.1.2006, S. 14).Dear brothers and sisters, may the World Day of Migrants and Refugees become a useful occasion to sensitize the ecclesial communities and public opinion to the needs and problems as well as to the positive potential of migrant families. My thoughts go especially to those who are directly affected by the far-reaching phenomenon of migration and to those who put their pastoral energies at the service of human mobility. The word of the Apostle Paul "Caritas Christi urget nos" (2 Cor. 5:14) is an incentive for them to give priority to the most needy brothers and sisters. With these sentiments, I invoke upon each one the divine assistance, and to all I cordially impart a special Apostolic Blessing.

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