World Refugee Day – June 20; Journée mondiale des réfugiés 20 juin; Día Mundial de los Refugiados, 20 de junio 20

World Refugee Day 2018

On this World Refugee Day, as people of faith and of conscience, the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office strongly condemns the United States’ policy reversing protections for asylum seekers fleeing domestic abuse and gang violence, and the “zero tolerance” policy that has resulted in the inhumane and deliberate separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States border. We call for an immediate end to these cruel and immoral policies, which have an especially harmful impact on migrant women and children. In the face of such egregious mistreatment of the most vulnerable seeking refuge in the United States, we cannot remain silent.  Read more … Statement on the Separation of Immigrant Children from Parents at the US Border

Día Mundial de los Refugiados 2018

En este Día Mundial de los Refugiados, como gente de fe y de conciencia, la Oficina Internacional Justicia y Paz del Buen Pastor condena enérgicamente la política de los Estados Unidos de revocar la protección para los solicitantes de asilo que huyen del abuso doméstico y de la violencia de pandillas, y la política de “tolerancia cero” que ha resultado en la separación inhumana y deliberada de hijos y padres inmigrantes en la frontera de los Estados Unidos. Pedimos poner fin inmediatamente a estas políticas crueles e inmorales, las cuales afectan de un modo particularmente pernicioso a las mujeres migrantes y a sus hijos. No podemos quedarnos calladas ante tan indignante maltrato a los solicitantes de refugio más vulnerables en los Estados Unidos.  Lee mas … Declaración sobre la Separación de Niños Inmigrantes de sus Padres en la Frontera Estadounidense

Journée mondiale du réfugié 2018

En cette Journée mondiale du réfugié, le Bureau Justice et Paix International du Bon Pasteur condamne fermement la politique américaine qui inverse la protection des demandeurs d’asile fuyant la violence domestique et la violence des gangs, ainsi que la politique de « tolérance zéro » qui en découle, séparant de manière inhumaine et délibérée des enfants migrants et leurs parents à la frontière des États-Unis. Nous appelons à stopper immédiatement ces politiques cruelles et immorales, qui ont un impact particulièrement néfaste sur les femmes et les enfants migrants. Face à ces mauvais traitements flagrants à l’égard des personnes les plus vulnérables qui cherchent refuge aux États-Unis, nous ne pouvons pas rester silencieux. Lire la suite…  Déclaration sur la séparation des enfants immigrants de leurs parents à la frontière américaine

See Good Shepherd Position Papers

Position Papers 2018    Documentos de Posición 2018     Prises de Position 2018

Position Paper on Migration and the UN Global Compact on Migration …

Position-Slidshow-banner3As the updated Position Papers of the congregation are launched negotiations of the 5the week of the Global Compact on Migration have just finished – May 4 – 8, 2018Cecilie Profile

We must pay tribute to our excellent colleague and NGO Main Representative to the United Nations – Cecilie Kern – our migration expert – for keeping abreast of the negotiation, supporting in ever way possible the NGO Committee on Migration in their tracking and contributing  to the enhancement the negotiations to ensure the human rights of each and every migrant.  Her dedication and passion in this cause are unrivaled. Here is a Copy of the document start of negotiations on June 4.    Cecilia has provided an update on the current position as we moved into the week of June 4th negotiations. Read more here ETW GCM

 

The Papers are available in all three languages Spanish Documentos de Posición 2018  French Prises de Position 2018  and English Position Papers 2018

This work did not begin today or yesterday but has been ongoing since the year long negotiation leading up to the New York Declarations on Refugees and Migrants in September 2016 – a year after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals.  The New York Declaration give rise to the work on the Global Compacts and here we are on the road to Morocco (10 and 11 December 2018) when the Global Compact will be adopted.  See More about the Conference  It will be preceded by the Global Forum on Migration which Good Shepherd have been engaged in over the years – with regresentatives coming from the Philippines, Malaysia and the GSIJPO in New York.

 

See New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants   Available in Spanish and French.  What is in the position paper on Migration?

  1. Reference to the global situation today and the fact that the Global Compact on Migration is being negotiated.
  2. Why migration happens and what can happen in the process.
  3. Who is on the move today?
  4. Here is our main point of advocacy
  • all persons, regardless of migratory status are rights holders.’
  • protection of migrants is a moral imperative
  • upholding the integrity of the family 
  • ensuring the rights of the child and of spouses
  • avoid criminalization of the migrant 
  • implement human rights and labour rights 
  • no to xenophobia 

5.  Welcome the stranger – recognize and honor difference – listen – accompany – provide services

6.   Critical to responding

  •  cross border OLCGS projects – share with us in the comments box what you are doing.
  • know your local, national and regional reality
  • educate on human rights
  • be gender sensitive
  • focus on long term solutions
  • advocate – human rights, family unity,  no to detention of children, due process
  • address systems and structures that discriminate
  • seeks universal social protection floor policy
  • highlight the need for ‘protection’
  • oppose efforts to restrict migration
  • speak abut the failure to address political , social and economic inequalities

Be eager to see the final edition of the Global Compact on Migration which we expect after the 6th round of intergovernmental negotiation to be held in New York July 9th – 13th, 2018

Make links with the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13, 16 and 17

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Document available in 6 UN Languages

The Mission of the Holy See to the UN hosted a side event on June 4 entitled ‘The Protection and Integration of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations.’   This could be a title for our position paper on Migration.  See   Goal:  “to facilitate a reflection and discussion on the main challenges and responses for the protection and integration of migrants in vulnerable situations, especially the selected target groups of women and girls, and families, and the selected target areas of health care and dignified work.”    Read the Holy See reflection on the side event Side Event

Prayer the prayer for June … a prayer for migrants and refugees.  English    Espanol  and Francais

 

 

 

Migration – 3rd Thematic Session on International Cooperation

June 19 and 20 at the UN in Geneva the 3rd Thematic Session on Migration is in progress.  The theme is ‘International cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.’  The GSIJP Office is represented by Cecilie Kern.  She is accompanied by Colleen Cloonan of the Mercy Global Action at the UN.   Cecilie will delver a joint statement on behalf of both organizations.  The statement is a response to the Issues Brief #3 and supplemented by  experiences from Theresa Symons (MDO Office – Asia Pacific), Magdalena Saavedra from the Philippines and Mercy Global Action office at the UN.

Clare Nolan did an article for Global Sisters Report  in January 2017 based on the experiences of Theresa and Magdalena following the Global Forum on Migration in Dhaka, Bangledesh.

Colleen Cloonan, Cecilie Kern and Winifred Doherty 

Tomorrow June 20th is World Refugee Day 2017.  A separate compact is being prepared to address the issue of Refugees.  Read this article  “Crisis in South Sudan, world’s fastest growing refugee emergency.”

We express appreciation to Sr Regina Hanko of the Province of Austria-Switzerland and Czech Republic for preparing the prayer this month.   English  French and Spanish     See more at Spanish French and English

Here is another prayer in English that has come in my e-mail –  World Refugee Day 2017 Prayer Service

According to the United Nation there are an estimated 58 million people displaced worldwide, 2.3 million asylum seekers, and 34 million people have been forcibly displaced within their own countries. António Guterres announced “These truly are alarming numbers. They reflect individual suffering on a huge scale and they reflect the difficulties of the international community in preventing conflicts and promoting timely solutions for them. The time is NOW to show that the global public stands with refugees.” (Facts and figures: UNHCR assessed April 2016) Taken from the prayer service prepared by ‘Becoming Neighours, Toronto’  See more  

 

Follow up on Global Forum on Migration and Development

On this International Migrants Day I am sharing the report of Theresa Symons and Magdalena Saavedra.  There is a call to action for Good Shepherds around the world. How are you going to respond?  Share your ideas in the comments box.

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Good Shepherd Representatives at the GFMD

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Sr. Magdalena Saavedra from the Centre of Overseas Workers, Davao, Philippines and Theresa Symons from MDO Asia Pacific, represented Good Shepherd at the recent Civil Society Programme for Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 8-9 December.  There were about 300 participants at the civil society forum.

This was followed by Common Space between civil society and governments on 9 December and the GFMD Summit for governments from 10-12 December.

Focus of the civil society forum

The theme for civil society programme was “Time for Action: Doing rights-based governance of migration and development in our communities and across borders.”

Robust discussions were held at the plenary debates and parallel working sessions which focused on four action-oriented themes:

  • Doing protection of migrant workers
  • Doing protection of migrant on the move
  • Doing inclusive development
  • Doing global governance better

Outcome recommendations broadly centered around various ways of implementing people-centered, needs first, rights-based policies on migration and human development; with civil society working with governments and businesses.

The recommendations will influence the development of a governance framework on migration called the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, Regular Migration, which is expected to be finalized by 2018 to be adopted by UN member states.

Our learning experiences

Magdalena and Theresa shared that it was a privilege for them to attend the civil society forum.  It was an opportunity to network with participants coming from different organizations, engage in conversations on good practices, listen to different perspectives on migration and learn about issues affecting migrants in other countries.

These are some of their insights and reflections in relation to the Good Shepherd Congregation:

  • Good Shepherd worldwide have extensive grassroots activities in sending as well as host countries. We play critical roles in educating and empowering our program participants on the rights of migrants
  • It is not enough to just be doing grassroots activities on migration. It is also important to have a working knowledge of policies, statements and guidelines on migration so that we can shape our programs to influence systemic changes locally, regionally and globally.
  • The needs of migrants have evolved in complexity which cannot be addressed by a sole organization. To increase our effectiveness in mission, we need to network and collaborate across borders as Good Shepherd agencies and with other NGOs, faith based groups, civil society organizations, governments and businesses.
  • A large bulk of migrants (regular and irregular) are women and children, it is a must for the Congregation to strengthen its response to the plight of the migrants in the local, regional and global level. As an international Congregation, more concrete and collective action has to be done (pro-active response to our broad directions).

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Links to the following important websites related to the GFMD:

  1.  Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) http://www.gfmd.org
  2. GFMD  Civil Society Days MADE Migration and Development Civil Society Network 
  3. The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants  New York Declaration in 6 languages
  4. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Sustainable Development Goals

In the picture our representatives with Eva Richter from NGO Committee on Migration in New York.       (Submitted by Theresa and Magdalena)

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With some of the participants and Undersecretary Ambassador Jose S. Brillantes Chairman of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers,  Pathma Krishnan Regional Coordinator of Education International-Asia Pacific, Theresa Symons Good Shepherd Congregation MDO-Asia Pacific, Mel Nuqui of Dawn – Executive Director (courtesy of Magdalena)

 

In solidarity with our Mission Partners in Syria and Lebanon – English/Spanish/French

georgette-2These days at the United Nations we are discussing much about the situation of Refugees and Migrants in preparation for the High Level Summit for Refugees and Migrants taking place on 19 September, 2016.  I want to ask you to join me in solidarity with our sisters and mission partners in Syria and Lebanon in what is a desperate situation for them and their people.  Sr. Georgette Tannoury, our NGO Regional Designate for ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) prepared the following Powerpoint. Let us be in solidarity with them and indeed with all refugee and migrant peoples throughout the world.   Open Powerpoint

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En estos días, en las Naciones Unidas, estamos discutiendo mucho sobre la situación de los Refugiados y de los Migrantes en preparación para la Cumbre de Alto Nivel que se llevará a cabo el 19 de septiembre de 2016.  Deseo pedirles que se unan a mí en la solidaridad con nuestras hermanas y compañeras de misión en Siria y Líbano en lo que es una situación desesperada para ellas y su gente.  La Hna Goergette Tannoury, designada regional de nuestra ONG para la CESPAO (Comisión Económica y Social para Asia Occidental) preparó el Powerpoint que sigue. Tomemos posición junto a ellas y, por supuesto, con todas las personas refugiadas y migrantes en todo el mundo.        Abra Powerpoint

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Ces jours-ci à l’ONU nous discutons beaucoup sur la situation des réfugiés et des migrants pendant la préparation du Sommet de haut niveau pour les réfugiés et migrants qui a lieu le 19 Septembre 2016. Je veux vous demander de vous joindre à moi, en solidarité avec nos sœurs et partenaires de la mission en Syrie et au Liban, dans ce qui est une situation désespérée pour eux et leur peuple. Sr Georgette Tannoury, notre désignée régionale ONG pour la CESAO (Commission économique et sociale pour l’Asie occidentale) a préparé le Powerpoint suivant. Soyons solidaires avec eux, avec tous les réfugiés et populations migrantes dans le monde entier.   Ouvrez Powerpoint

 

 

Girls Ambassadors from Ireland share their stories and experiences #childrenfirst

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Minahil and Natasha from Zimbabwe and Pakistan  shared their experiences and called for action.  Minahil and Natsha  arrived in Ireland some years ago and are passionate advocates for refugee children around the world. Listen to the interview.

They also spoke at the Vigil on Sunday evening.

Good Friends and ardent child activists were present.  Captured in the crowd was Leymah Gbowee who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.   She addressed the people gathered towards the end of the vigil.

 

Another Historic Moment at the UN The signing of the agreement between between UN and IOM

un-refugee_284x158The ‘New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants’  was adopted this morning at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly 71st Session High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants / High-level plenary meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants.  Access to text in 6 languages   A ceremony to mark the formalizing of an already old relationship (65 years) between United Nations and  the IOM (International Organization for Migrants) also took  place.  All is on webcast HERE  The list of speakers at the opening session:

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My pick H.E. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ms Nadia Taha, Yazda – Iraq.

 

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Eni Lestari Andayani Adi. (Indonesia) Chairperson, International Migrant’s Alliance (IMA) addressing the Summit.  The text of ALL statements are HERE

Civil society has made a response to the NY Declaration for Refugees and Migrants urging world leaders to take  7 actions  to make a new deal for refugees, migrants and societies a reality.  This document is in English, SpanishFrench and I have endorsed it on behalf of us all.  ‘The real and immediate test is whether the Summit will be able to make a difference on the ground for the millions of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people (IDP’s) in need of protection, safe passage, solidarity, inclusion, decent work and livelihoods, and for the societies that host them.’ The 7 actions are presented as actions that can made that difference.

To our Position Paper on Migration we must now add this new declaration on Refugees and Migrants and analyze the 7 action proposed by civil society as to how each one of us and our governments can make a change.

  1. Translate the New York Declaration at national and local level
  2. Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework  with UNHCR and develop a Global Compact for Refugees no later than 2018
  3. Review national border policies to uphold the human rights of all people at international borders and implement gender-and age- sensitive guidelines to protect migrants in vulnerable situation
  4. End the practice of child immigration detention in accordance with the best interests of the child
  5. Commit to the development of Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration with civil society including migrants and refugees directly involved in the process from now until the Compact is achieved.
  6. Implement policies and vigorous campaigns at national and local levels to counter xenophobia, discrimination and racism
  7. Agree on concrete measures to improve the protection and assistance for internally displaced people

“Refugees and Migrants may lose many things when they move but never their human rights and fundamental dignity

Read more here  and see the SCORECARD evaluating the ‘New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants’ from civil society perspective.