On June 4, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave opening remarks at a conference at UN Headquarters entitled, “The Protection and Integration of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations: The Case of Faith-Based Organizations.”
In his remarks, Archbishop Auza praised the new draft of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration for noting the need for the international community and national governments to cooperate and partner with faith based organizations (FBOs) whose work is already essential in the care for those on the move and will be fundamental to the implementation of the GCM. He said that FBOs are present at all stages of the migratory journey, often filling gaps that governments and other civil society actors are unable or unwilling to fill on their own. He listed five reasons why FBOs are high effective in their work with refugees and migrants: they have a well-established local, national and international network; migrants have special trust for those of their faith to help and not to lead them to harm; FBOs are similarly trusted and respected by governments and other stakeholders; they have a powerful voice in defense of migrants’ dignity and human rights; and they have huge volunteer networks to scale to meet the need and help with cultural and social integration. FBOs, he said, are particularly effective in acting on the four verbs regularly mentioned by Pope Francis — welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants — and stand ready to partner and collaborate with governments and civil society institutions to assist people on the move, particularly those most vulnerable.
His statement can be found here.