~ by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY – Countries hosting millions of refugees are not receiving adequate support, and the situation is made worse when other nations forge agreements that trap migrants and refugees often indefinitely, “at strategic points along their journey,” said a top Vatican official.
“The fact that millions of our fellow brothers and sisters remain in limbo is a crisis of solidarity, It should challenge our conscience as a family of nations to seek strategies that engage with all countries as equal partners,” said Francesca DiGiovanni, an undersecretary in the Vatican’s foreign ministry office.
spoke on October 5 as head of the Vatican delegation to the executive committee of the U.N. High Commissioner’s Program for Refugees in Geneva.
The current system in place for handling those who are forcibly displaced has been “entirely overwhelmed” and “struggles to respond adequately,” making displacement, within and across borders, “one of the most pressing challenges of our times,” she said.
Even though the 1951 Refugee Convention declares its aim is to guarantee that refugees may exercise their “fundamental rights and freedoms,” millions of refugees are unable to enjoy these rights in many regions of the world, she said.
Many nations are trying to provide “both immediate and durable solutions,” but host countries do not receive adequate support, DiGiovanni said.
“A number of countries have even increased the burden of host communities through an unsustainable strategy of externalization, avoiding direct responsibility for large, mixed flows of migrants and refugees through agreements that stop them, often indefinitely, at strategic points along their journey.”
Countries near these areas of crisis “are only as strong as the unity and effectiveness of the international community in extending financial and technical support to first responders and to local populations that are struggling to continue on with daily life,” she said.
The Vatican, she said, is calling on all countries “to adopt concrete, meaningful actions, especially in response to the increasing number of humanitarian crises.”
The Vatican also insists on protecting the “right to health of everyone, including refugees and migrants, and especially of women and children who are at particular risk in humanitarian situations, she said. To read the complete article please click here