Migrants: humanly, quite simply

Monday evening, in Briançon (Hautes-Alpes), more than a hundred migrants were welcomed, with the support of the Bishop of Gap, in a church, after having spent the previous night in the station due to saturation other places of reception.

→ ANALYSIS. Calais, Briançon: the Church steps up to defend migrants

At the other end of France, it is also in a church in downtown Calais that three Catholic Relief volunteers, including a Jesuit priest, have been on hunger strike since October 11. Their demands are simple: an end to the systematic evictions from the places where migrants live during the winter break; an end to the confiscation of their tents and personal belongings; the opening of a dialogue between authorities and associations not mandated by the State to jointly define the modalities of humanitarian aid.

Making life impossible for migrants, under the pretext of not encouraging new arrivals, is totally ineffective and is a source of intolerable violence. Manhandling people who are often already severely affected in their bodies by their long journey, making them feel in their flesh that they are not welcome in our territory, adding vulnerability to vulnerability does not constitute a policy. It is even an admission of powerlessness on the part of the public authorities.

→ EXPLANATION. A priest on hunger strike in Calais, what is the position of the Catholic Church?

The migration issue is certainly complex. The state alone will not be able to resolve it. Civil society has a big role to play where migrants and refugees flock. In Calais and Briançon, the doors of churches have opened to demand that a dialogue be initiated between the authorities and the associative world. So that the men, women and children who have arrived on our soil are simply treated humanely.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *