human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
Webinar, 24 March
Human-centred approach to migration
The aim of this webinar is to bring Caritas colleagues together from around the world to reflect on Caritas’ understanding of human mobility, to listen to some different testimonies and realities on the ground, and to consider how this interlinks with Caritas’ understanding of a human-centred economy.
This webinar is co-organised with Caritas Africa and Caritas Middle East and North Africa (MONA) in the frame of the MIND project on migration and development.
Caritas believes that political leaders have a choice: they can continue the restrictive, outdated and harmful migration policies or they can recognise the importance of human mobility for the integral development of our communities and regions.
As François Crépeau, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said: “The so-called ‘migration crisis’ is policy driven. Placing restrictions on mobility is part of the problem, not of the solution.”
Attempts by the European leaders to stem migration mirror a blatant failure to fulfill their moral and legal duties to help people in need. Worldwide 80% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, yet rather than helping to respond to these needs, European Union countries are pushing for greater cooperation with origin and transit countries to stem migration flows to Europe.
Meanwhile, EU countries are also focusing on boosting returns of migrants back to countries of origin, as is clearly outlined in the recent Pact on Migration and Asylum. The red thread in these different policy initiatives is the assumption that irregular migration, and subsequently smuggling and trafficking will drop when the probability of being effectively returned increases. But it is high-time for policy makers to understand that building Fortress Europe will not stop migration. No walls, no human rights abuses, no coast guards or threat of return will stop desperate people from searching for a dignified life in Europe, no matter how deadly the attempt may be. Irregular migration will not decrease unless policymakers propose safe and legal pathways to Europe and carry out genuine development cooperation, free of migration control conditionality, with the world’s poorest countries. EU decision-makers cannot expect to fight irregular migration, smugglers and traffickers if they feed it by closing most legal means to reach Europe, including the right to apply for asylum.
The time is not only ripe to anchor policies in facts and evidence rather than in fear and quick fixes, but to also take a step back and listen about the realities on the ground. What is the situation like in the countries of origin? What opportunities are there related to education and labour market? What is the situation like for men, for women and for youth? What are the motivations for people to migrate to Europe and what lessons can we draw from listening to these realities on the ground in our advocacy toward European policy makers?
We believe that Europe has the moral duty and the material means to welcome, protect, promote and integrate people in need. We also think there are plenty of tools to open efficient, safe and legal pathways to Europe, such as humanitarian visas, resettlement, community sponsorship, humanitarian corridors, and family reunification.
In these unsettling times, Europe should take strong global leadership toward promoting a fair and humane-centred approach and by investing in the countries of origin and enabling a modern and dynamic, welcoming Europe that fosters human mobility.
English, with simultaneous interpretation into French.
Who can attend
This event is open to members of the Caritas network and to other participants by invitation only.
This is an online event.
You will be able to connect via Zoom. You will receive detailed instructions on how to connect and a link to the webinar one or two days prior to the event.
Agenda – 13:30-15:45 (Central European Time – Brussels time zone)
13:30-13:35 Moderation by Shannon Pfohman, Policy and Advocacy Director of Caritas Europa
13:35-13:45 Welcome and introduction by Karam Yazbeck, Regional Coordinator of Caritas MONA
13:45-13:55 Making the link between the concepts of human mobility and human-centred economy by George Joseph, Secretary General of Caritas Sweden and Caritas Europa Board Member
13:55-14:10 Input from Caritas Africa – what are the realities on the ground? By Christine Laura Okello, Humanitarian Emergency Coordinator of Caritas Uganda
14:10-14:40 Input from Caritas MONA – what are the realities on the ground? By:
Dr. Elie Abouaoun, Director of MENA Programs, US Institute of Peace
Ms. Mouna Guidiri, responsible for communication at Caritas Morocco
Sr. Spéciosa Mukagatare, Director of Caritas Tunisia
14:40-15:25 Q&A – discussion considering also what could be the role for Caritas?
15:25-15:40 Toward achieving a more human-centred global and safe migration/mobility by Fr. Fabio Baggio, Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section
15:40-15:45 Conclusions by Maria Nyman, Secretary General of Caritas Europa
Registrations for this event are closed
Policy and Advocacy Director
+32 (0)2 235 26 51
This webinar is produced in the framework of the MIND project, which has received financial support from the DEAR Programme of the European Union. The content of this webinar does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Union.