Caritas Europa Statement for International Migrants Day – 18 December


Brussels, Tuesday 11 December 2018

Statement ahead of the International Migrants Day, 18 December

Let’s make migration work for everyone

On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, Caritas Europa welcomes the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by an overwhelming majority of countries during the United Nation’s intergovernmental meeting in Marrakech last week.

The adoption of the Global Compact on Migration is a step forward to addressing one of the most relevant global concerns today in a humane way. It provides a comprehensive structure for countries to approach migration collaboratively with respect to human rights and to tackle urgent issues such as safe and legal migration pathways, the contribution of migrants to development and the fight against human trafficking and labour exploitation.

“We call on all signing countries, including EU Member States, to begin to implement the Global Compact on Migration, which is an outstanding tool to empower governments in feeling more in control of human mobility. It also highlights the benefits of migration and decreases the potential fears and challenges associated with it”.

Msgr. Luc Van Looy, President of Caritas Europa.

While respecting each state’s national sovereignty, the Global Compact is a non-binding instrument that fosters cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination of migrants. It is based on the existing international human rights framework and the Sustainable Development Goals. Knowing that no state can act alone in the field of migration, we believe it strikes a good balance between the respect of migrants’ rights and the interests of receiving communities.

We hope that the fact that some countries decided to withdraw from the Global Compact will not tarnish the ambitions of the majority who chose cooperation and dialogue over individual political interests. Caritas Europa applauds this important instrument that proves that nationalism, populism and xenophobia will not triumph over cooperation and dialogue.

In this regard, Pope Francis’ four verb approach to migration: “to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate” rings true across the Caritas global confederation.

 “The adoption and implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will be an important step for governments to fight the rising tide of stigma around migration and to ensure that human dignity and rights are upheld. In a world struggling to embrace its globalized identity, the global compact will be a sign of cooperation and unity that will offer far-reaching hope for our common future”.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis.

This is the beginning, not the end. The work and implementation must start now to make safe, orderly and regular migration a reality.

For more information, please contact:

Leïla Bodeux
Policy and Advocacy Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 55
Mob: +32 (0)478 58 54 09
Leticia Lozano
Communication Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 54
Mob: +32 (0)476 42 09 53