The Community of Sant’Egidio will celebrate tomorrow, 25 September, the 108th World Migrant and Refugee Day, joining the words of Pope Francis who invites us to build the future “with” those who are forced to abandon their land. It seems to us, in fact, not only opportune but decisive to put aside the temptation of a future of our societies, in the North of the world, “without” or even “against” those who represent a large part of our population and the world of work. It is necessary to tackle immigration, clearing the field of any impression or superficial reasoning, of any easy instrumentalization.
Instead, first, it is necessary to come to the aid of those who risk their lives on increasingly long and painful journeys of despair in the Mediterranean Sea, as demonstrated by the recent tragic death of 81 refugees who left Lebanon in barges and were shipwrecked off the coast of Syria. But then we must have the capacity to welcome and integrate. The humanitarian corridors – which have managed to bring more than 7,000 refugees to Europe – are in this sense a model to follow because they allow people and families to get to know people and families who have witnessed wars and violence, helping them to integrate as an integral part of our society.
In order to ‘build the future’ we need some measures to facilitate the entry of migrants for work purposes, which Italy, in the midst of a demographic crisis, is in dire need of: expansion of annual quotas, introduction of sponsorship (a person or association that can act as a guarantor for the insertion into the world of work), facilitation of family reunions, and a more generous relocation of refugees by European countries.
For World Day we will celebrate tomorrow, 25 September, with many migrants and refugees. The appointments, in Rome, are at the soup kitchen in Via Dandolo 10, starting at noon, for a special “friendship lunch” and at the School of Italian Language and Culture in Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere 23, where enrolment for the new school year will be open in the morning.