By Linda Bordoni
European Bishops are expressing the support of the Catholic Church to the UN Global Compact on Migration which is scheduled to be adopted by United Nations members next week.
The “United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” is the first international tool outlining best practices for managing migration around the world. A meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, on 10 and 11 December will see UN Member States endorse the document, although a list of defectors is growing.
The document, which lists 23 goals and aims for better coordination between countries, presents migration in a positive light and proposes to improve the rights of migrants and the duties of host countries while combating illegal migration.
In a statement released on Monday, Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), reaffirmed the Catholic Church in Europe’s shared responsibility towards migrants and refugees in our societies.
Recognizing and respecting the human dignity and rights of every migrant
He recalled Pope Francis’ appeal to “welcome, protect, promote and integrate” migrants and refugees and the archbishop underscored the fact that “they are not just figures or trends, but persons who have faces, names and individual stories (…) and deserve to be treated in accordance with their inherent human dignity and their fundamental rights”.
Hollerich stated that the principles of the centrality of the human person and of the common good “must preside EU and member states’ internal and external policies, also in migratory issues” and he encouraged national political authorities, in the words of Pope Francis, "to ground responsibility for the shared global management of international migration in the values of justice, solidarity and compassion".
Shared and common responsibility
Looking ahead to next week’s signing ceremony he described the Compact as the “fruit of a vast negotiation”.
“It recognizes a shared and common responsibility of authorities and societies in countries of departure, transit and arrival to frame and regulate migration for the benefit of all human persons and communities involved” he said.
The archbishop also highlighted its aim to provide “security and protection to migrant persons as well as to hosting societies by promoting legal migration pathways, preventing thus human trafficking, deadly journeys, family disruption and violence” he said.
Archbishop Hollerich concluded exhorting EU Member States to make this Global Compact an achievement for the common good of a shared humanity.