Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay

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Photo: https://migrants-refugees.va

Last Thursday, the Holy See published Pope Francis’ Message for the 109th World Migrant and Refugee Day, to be celebrated on Sunday, 24 September 2023, on the theme: ‘Free to choose to migrate or to stay’.

Pope Francis writes:

To make migration a choice that is truly free, efforts must be made to ensure to everyone an equal share in the common good, respect for his or her fundamental rights, and access to an integral human development. Only in this way will we be able to offer to each person the possibility of a dignified and fulfilling life, whether individually or within families. Clearly, the principal responsibility falls to the countries of origin and their leaders, who are called to practice a good politics – one that is transparent, honest, farsighted and at the service of all, especially those most vulnerable. At the same time, they must be empowered to do this, without finding themselves robbed of their natural and human resources and without outside interference aimed at serving the interests of a few. Where circumstances make possible a decision either to migrate or to stay, there is a need to ensure that the decision be well informed and carefully considered, in order to avoid great numbers of men, women and children falling victim to perilous illusions or unscrupulous traffickers.

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