Caritas Australia urges government to adopt global migration compact

Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency, urges the Australian Government to adopt the Global Migration Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, after its recent decision to withdraw from the historic multilateral agreement.

The Global Compact is expected to be the first, internationally negotiated agreement, prepared under the guidance of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. Over 190 countries have signed up to the agreement.

The Compact, which emerged out of the United Nations 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (New York Declaration), aligns closely with the work of the global Caritas network to “Share the Journey’ with migrants and refugees. This movement aims to support the displaced as they seek safe passage and eventually re-settlement in new lands.

Syrian refugees in Turkey
Photo: Patrick Nicholson, Caritas Internationalis

Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Patrick Nicholson, Caritas Internationalis.

Pope Francis launched this “Share the Journey” campaign in 2017 saying that “migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, exploitation and the unjust distribution of the planet’s resources, which are meant to be equitably shared by all.”

The Compact presents a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility and Caritas Australia’s Director of Advocacy and Communications, Nic Nelson, said that it would be appropriate for the Australian government to sign up to the Compact because it would properly reflect our community values and provide leadership in our region.

“Australia has a proud history of leading the way with international agreements to global problems,” Mr Nelson said. “This is a time to again show such leadership as one of the world’s most successful multicultural countries”.

Caritas Australia is adding its endorsement of the Compact along with a number of other faith-based and non-Government actors, including; the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, Jesuit Refugee Services, Settlement Services International, UNICEF Australia and many more.

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