On September 29, 2019 the global Catholic Church will celebrate the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. This is a day to set aside time to focus on the reality of migrants and refugees in our communities and around the world, and take action to live the tenants of our faith which call us to welcome and offer hospitality to those in need.
Today, an unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Every 15 minutes a family is forced to flee their homeland. Many migrants and refugees are forcibly displaced from their homes by violence, climate change, oppressive governments, and poverty. They are the faces of Christ suffering in our midst today.
The Alliance to End Human Trafficking recognizes that migrants and refugees are particularly vulnerable populations to both sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Part of the work to prevent and end human trafficking involves providing adequate support systems for migrants and refugees looking for safety, shelter, and employment in order to care for themselves and their families. The better we can care for our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters, the less likely they will be taken advantage of by traffickers.
On this World Day of Migrants and Refugees, we want to remind you of some resources we created to help you reflect on the connections between migration, refugees, and human trafficking which are free and available for download on our website.
- AEHT Statement on Trafficking and Immigration
- Intersectionality of Human Trafficking with Migrants, Refugees, and Internally Displaced People – English
- Intersectionality of Human Trafficking with Migrants, Refugees, and Internally Displaced People – Español
- Human Trafficking and Environmental Refugees – English
- Human Trafficking and Environmental Refugees – Español
There are also a few ways you can take action to support refugees and migrants looking to resettle in the United States. Below are some opportunities for action for individuals and faith communities.
Invitation to Action:
- Support the GRACE Act and NO BAN Act
The Alliance to End Human Trafficking put together atoolkit for World Refugee Day back in June with information about the GRACE Act and NO BAN Act which would help raise the number of refugees accepted into the United States and repeal the ban on admissions from some Muslim majority countries. These acts have still not passed in either the House or the Senate, and we need you to continue to put pressure on your elected representatives, asking them to support the GRACE Act and the NO BAN Act. You can download that toolkit and learn more HERE. There are also prayer resources and personal stories available on that page.
- Welcome and Support Migrants and Refugees in your CommunityJustice for Immigrants has prepared a number of resources to help you and/or your community take action on World Day for Migrants and Refugees including a guide on accompaniment and solidarity with migrants and refugees, hosting a welcome meal, prayers of the faithful, special rosary, and church resources. You can download all those HERE.
- Download the official Vatican Tool Kit for World Day of Migrants and RefugeesThe Vatican Office for Migrants and Refugees has compiled a helpful kit of resources to aid in marking this important day. You can download that kit HERE.
Thank you for joining us in remembering migrants and refugees on September 29th and taking action to ensure that this vulnerable population is safe from human trafficking. As Pope Francis reminds us in his message for this year’s celebration, “It’s not just about migrants.” It’s about all of us, doing what we can, to face our own fears and courageously follow the path of love.Tags: immigration, Migration, Refugees