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The Society of Jesus and Migration
October 12, 2010

The Society of Jesus and Migration
It is important to highlight the right of all persons to live, work and realize their full human potential in their place or country of origin. When this is not possible, however, we also emphasize their right to look for better living conditions outside their place of origin, whether this means crossing an international border or migrating within their own country.
As Jesuits and collaborators working with and for migrants, refugees and displaced people, we believe in a more inclusive world, in which all of God’s children will be able to live in justice and brotherhood.

(Quito, Ecuador) October 11, 2010 – The challenges posed by migration are an apostolic priority for the universal body of the Society of Jesus. Since this phenomenon is increasingly globalized, it requires a response that is also networked at the worldwide level.

In the frame of the IV WORLD SOCIAL FORUM ON MIGRATION (WSFM), WORKS AND APOSTOLATES OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS AT THE WORLDWIDE LEVEL have held a PRE-FORUM ON MIGRATION, from October 4 to 6, 2010, in Quito, Ecuador, with the participation of 94 people from 29 countries on five continents, with the objective of defining priorities for actions and processes, as well as forms of networking our apostolates at the global level.

After shared reflection from the political-economic, socio-cultural and theological-pastoral perspectives, taking into account the particular challenges in different regions of the world, we find it important to insist on the following considerations.

We maintain that:

It is important to highlight the right of all persons to live, work and realize their full human potential in their place or country of origin. When this is not possible, however, we also emphasize their right to look for better living conditions outside their place of origin, whether this means crossing an international border or migrating within their own country.

The participants in this Pre-forum denounce:

• Any form of violation of the human rights of migrants;

• The stigmatization by the media and society, and the criminalization on the part of States, of irregular migration;

• The systematic denial on the part of many States to guarantee the appropriate international protection of asylum seekers and refugees, which leaves them in situations of extreme vulnerability;

• Restrictive migratory policies, which are focused on detention, deportation and border control;

• The resulting strengthening of trafficking and smuggling networks, which are many times linked to State corruption and impunity;

The lopsided model of development, which is promoted by multinational corporations, which prioritizes the market over human development, and which has the following consequences:

• Environmental destruction and the extraction of natural resources, forcing the displacement of entire populations;

• The exploitation of migrant workers; 

• The particular vulnerabilization of women and minors.

We demand:

• The universal ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families of 1990;

• The effective international protection of asylum seekers and refugees;

• Integral and inclusive migration policies which approach migration not only as a labor issue, but also take into account the cultural, social, religious and political dimensions;

• The protection of the rights of all persons, independently of their migratory administrative status, and with particular attention to vulnerable sectors such as women and minors;

• Respect for the right of indigenous peoples to their land and resources; 

• A sustainable and people-centered model of development.

We commit ourselves:

• Based on direct accompaniment, to reflect on priority issues, in order to confront the stigmatization and criminalization of migrants, and to advocate for more just and humane migration policies;

• To create a global Ignatian migration network in order to strengthen our response as a world body to this global challenge;

• To collaborate with other institutions and organizations which share a common mission with us;

• To strengthen North-South and South-South solidarity and collaboration in order to promote more just migration policies and models of development.

Conclusion

Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father." As Jesuits and collaborators working with and for migrants, refugees and displaced people, we believe in a more inclusive world, in which all of God’s children will be able to live in justice and brotherhood.



Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
communications@jrsusa.org
202-462-0400 ext. 5946