MEXICO-HOLY SEE COLLOQUIUM ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT
14 July 2014
A “Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development” was held in Mexico City on July 14, 2014. The Colloquium’s chairs were Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, and Dr. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Secretary of Foreign Affairs. This significant meeting had the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and of Mexico’s Undersecretary of Population, Migration and Religious Affairs. Also present at the meeting were officials, legislators, bishops and other representatives from the Catholic Church, as well as academicians, members of diplomatic corps and individuals interested in this very sensitive regional challenge.
• The members of the Colloquium agreed on the need to underscore the human dimension of international migration in the present scenario as a result of the challenges currently faced by migrants travelling to other countries in search for better opportunities.
• We recognize that migration has made a meaningful contribution to the history of nations, one that will continue to exist only if we cooperate with creating proper conditions for migrants. We also admit that mobility, which is inherent to our globalized world, calls for an approach of shared responsibility, especially on a regional basis: as a result, all stakeholders must look for innovative strategies for full social and human inclusion. Such shared responsibility entails the involvement of governments, civil society and the Catholic Church, so that comprehensive solutions can be found for the advancement of peace and development in our nations.
• We recognize that the dignity of people does not emerge from their economic standing, their political affiliation, their education, their ethnicity, their religious convictions or their migratory status. Every individual has the same dignity and deserves the same respect out of the sole fact of being a human being.
• We have shared information and discussions on our common concerns regarding international migration and its connection to the development of nations and the protection of human rights, and with respect to the urgency of dealing with the problems posed by these appalling human plights of our era in a comprehensive fashion.
• We agree on the need to prioritize human dignity and family unity as the key pillars for understanding migration and designing appropriate regulatory frameworks and public policies. The goal here is to progress towards a scenario that will not only facilitate legal, safe and orderly migration, but which will also enable recognizing the contribution that migrants make to social development and the full validity of their human rights in their source, transit and destination countries.
• We share the commitment of safeguarding the best interests of children as a migration policy priority.
• We agree that preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and the illegal trafficking of migrants, protecting the victims of human trafficking, and safeguarding migrants against exploitation and other abuses are matters of paramount importance. In addition, we reiterate the need for national and regional policies targeted on preventing and fighting these evils.
• We are aware of the need to deal with the structural causes that push many people to emigrate from their source countries in search for better living conditions. Likewise, we reassert the importance of facilitating the integration of migrants in their host countries, as this can be an effective strategy against xenophobia, racism, discrimination and all other forms of intolerance.
• We reassert the need to effectively promote and protect the human rights of all migrants, especially women and children, regardless of their migratory status, and the urgency of strengthening dialogue and cooperation across all levels.
• We recognize the mutual trust and collaboration existing between the Mexican State, the Catholic Church and other religious associations, and we emphasize their valuable contribution to migrant care, protection and aid.
• We are also aware of the active involvement and the valuable inputs of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras during the Colloquium, as well as the constructive approach of the US government.
• With a view to strengthening cooperation on migration and development, Mexico and the Holy See agree to:
1. Promote the protection of the human rights of migrants in all the relevant multilateral forums, and work to enhance the public’s perception on migrants and migration.
2. Strive for tighter collaboration to eradicate the globalization of indifference that our societies have been thrown into as a result of exclusion and inequality.
3. Ensure the best interests of children, and defend human dignity and family unity at all times, in particular when dealing with migratory crises. We suggest paying special attention to the emerging phenomenon of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents, and even propose considering an extension of the list of grounds for international protection.
4. Promote discussion and reflection on the multiple aspects involved in international migration, and on the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach that has the dignity of migrants at its core and includes migration, development and human rights.
5. Recognize the importance of policies of integration, return and family reunification in full observance of the human rights of migrants.
6. Promote the Declaration of the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development as adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in October 2013, with the goal of granting universal recognition to the valuable role performed by migrants as partners in the development of source, transit and destination countries, and recommend the inclusion of said Declaration in the post-2015 Development Agenda.
7. Recognize the significant role of civil society and the Catholic Church in all initiatives involving migrant reception and support, and strengthen those that produce the best impact on the effective protection of migrant rights.
Las Tres Caras de Herodes: Éxodo de Criaturas, Migraciones Catastróficas y Vida en Sombras
Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco