极速飞艇助手

As Covid-19 pandemic rages, the Vatican pleads for the world’s 50 million internally displaced persons

Displaced Syrian children are seen at a camp in Idlib on April 14, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Internally displaced people, those forced to flee their homes, but who do not cross into another country, still often need protection and special assistance, including from the church, said a new Vatican document released May 5. (CNS photo/Khalil Ashawi, Reuters)Displaced Syrian children are seen at a camp in Idlib on April 14, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Internally displaced people, those forced to flee their homes, but who do not cross into another country, still often need protection and special assistance, including from the church, said a new Vatican document released May 5. (CNS photo/Khalil Ashawi, Reuters)
, which reports directly to Pope Francis, drew attention on May 5 to the plight of the more than 50 million “internally displaced persons” in 61 countries across the world, publishing a document suggesting ways the church should try to help them.

Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J., presented the document at an online press conference conducted from the Marconi Hall of Vatican Radio, emphasizing that the situation of I.D.P.s has become even more critical because of the coronavirus pandemic. “The virus does not distinguish between those who are important and those who are invisible, those who are settled and those who are displaced,” he said. “Everyone is vulnerable and each infection is a danger to everyone.”

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Cardinal Czerny pointed out that failure to care for internally displaced people brings risk not only to them but also to the population of the country where they live.

极速飞艇助手The Vatican document advocates that “displaced people should be considered as refugees in the same way as those formally recognized by the 1951 Refugee Convention because they are victims of the same type of violence.”

[Explore all of America’s in-depth coverage of the coronavirus pandemic]

Cardinal Czerny pointed out that failure to care for internally displaced people brings risk not only to them but also to the population of the country where they live.

极速飞艇助手It calls on the church to promote both “the material and spiritual needs of I.D.P.s” and suggests that I.D.P. communities be aided “so they can participate fully in the social and economic life of their host communities.” It emphasizes the importance of providing education and medical care to I.D.P.s.

极速飞艇助手Amaya Valcárcel, ’s international coordinator for advocacy, told the press conference of the work J.R.S. is doing in 56 countries, emphasizing that “the invisibility” of I.D.P.s remains a major problem, as do government restrictions that often make it difficult to get access to them. She said that Covid-19 could increase the social and economic problems of I.D.P.s, rendering them even more “invisible” and bringing more restrictions on them.

The 54-page document, called “Pastoral Orientations on Internally Displaced People,” was approved by Pope Francis. It offers guidelines for use by Catholic dioceses, parishes and religious congregations, schools and universities, and Catholic and other civil society organizations. It can be used by any group willing to respond to the plight of internally displaced persons.

极速飞艇助手“It is meant to guide the church’s ministry to I.D.P.s, in planning and practical engagement, in advocacy and dialogue,” Cardinal Czerny said.

“Pope Francis gives enormous importance to the plight of the millions of forgotten men, women and children forced to migrate within their own countries and known internationally as ‘internally displaced people,’” he added.

极速飞艇助手Noting prominent I.D.P. crises around the world, Ms. Valcárcel said that Colombia has the highest number of I.D.P.s after Syria, with many displaced during its long civil war. Colombia has also more recently become host to thousands of refugees from Venezuela.

She described ways to protect and promote I.D.P.s, detailing the psychological help J.R.S. offers to adults in Iraq—where there are 1.5 million I.D.P.s—and its educational programs for children in Iraq and Syria.

“Pope Francis gives enormous importance to the plight of the millions of forgotten men, women and children forced to migrate within their own countries and known internationally as ‘internally displaced people.’”

According to the , there are more than 50 million I.D.P.s at risk today. The vast majority of them—47.5 million—are victims of armed conflict and violence, but more than five million are victims of natural disasters because of climate change. That is an issue the office for migrants and refugees will focus on next year.

极速飞艇助手According to the global report, I.D.P.s in Yemen are perhaps the world’s most vulnerable. Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s population of over 29 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance; 3.6 million Yemenis were internally displaced at the end of 2019. Syria had some 6.5 million internally displaced persons at the end of last year in addition to the 5.6 million people who have fled the country, meaning that more than half of its pre-war population of 22 million people has been forced from their homes.

极速飞艇助手The Rev. Fabio Baggio, a Scalabrinian missionary and undersecretary of the migrants and refugees office, explained that the Vatican document uses the United Nations definition of I.D.P.s—persons “who have been forced or obliged to flee or leave their homes or places of residence” because of “armed conflicts, situations of generalized violence, human rights violations” or due to “natural or man-made disasters” but have not crossed an internationally recognized border.

极速飞艇助手He said that I.D.P.s are often “invisible” because, unlike refugees who have crossed international borders, they do not have a recognized legal status and remain under the protection and jurisdiction of the government of their home country.

He said the Vatican document, the result of consultation with church leaders, partner organizations, scholars and those working with I.D.P.s in different countries, is built around the four verbs often emphasized by Pope Francis in relation to migrants and refugees—welcome, protect, promote, integrate.

Affirming the need to “welcome” I.D.P.s, the Vatican document acknowledges that “the phenomenon of internal displacement is very complex and hard to address.” Because it is difficult for the international community to intervene, I.D.P.s can become “forgotten.”

“While many organizations attempt to meet material needs, the religious and spiritual welfare of I.D.P.s can sometimes be neglected.”

The text recognizes that host communities are often in precarious situations themselves and appeals to “all actors” to promote “a balanced and comprehensive approach to humanitarian aid” for the benefit of both I.D.P.s and the communities that receive them. It suggests, for example, that when states or organizations provide aid and assistance to I.D.P.s they should make similar contributions to the local development of host communities in the areas of health, education and welfare.

Referring to the need to protect I.D.P.s, the Vatican notes that “I.D.P.s are not included within the international system of protection provided for by international refugee law. Indeed, until they cross an internationally recognized border in search of safety and protection, they remain citizens under the legal jurisdiction of their own country, entitled to the same rights and guarantees as any other citizen of that particular state.”

极速飞艇助手For this reason, it said, “under international law, the primary responsibility for protecting their human rights and for providing them with humanitarian assistance remains with their national government even if that government is not always willing or able to fulfil its obligations.” In the latter cases, “international actors may be called on by states and the international community to reinforce, rather than to replace, national responsibility.”

极速飞艇助手To respond to this challenge, the document calls on the local church “to remind national governments of their direct responsibility for all their citizens, including the internally displaced.” It calls on the church to advocate for clear regulations “for the protection of I.D.P.s at the local, national and international level” and advocates special care for the I.D.P.s who are most vulnerable, including people fleeing from war, abused women and children, child soldiers, disabled persons, and members of ethnic groups that face discrimination.

极速飞艇助手The Vatican document says that “while many organizations attempt to meet material needs, the religious and spiritual welfare of I.D.P.s can sometimes be neglected.” It emphasizes that this spiritual dimension “is essential to the integral human development” of I.D.P.s and calls on local bishops “to adopt specific pastoral structures and programmes to address both their “material and spiritual needs.”

极速飞艇助手The document also underlines the importance of working for the integration of internally displaced persons in new communities. It says emergency camps “are a temporary solution and are not a substitute for adequate housing” and advocates attempts “to provide for long-term, durable solutions that must involve all stakeholders.” It calls on the church to provide both the I.D.P.s and the host communities “with guidance and support to promote authentic integration.”

Asked whether the global attention to Covid-19 pandemic would distract from the plight of I.D.P.s, Father Baggio said he hoped people would not overlook problems that existed long before the virus and will exist long after it is over.

“Multitasking is not optional,” he said. The coronavirus pandemic “has shown society that systemic weaknesses are real weaknesses, the vulnerabilities are real vulnerabilities and the fragilities are real fragilities,” he said, “but sometimes living our secure and peaceful lives, we overlook those near us who are suffering or are not well or are generally overlooked.”

In response to questions regarding populist attitudes to migrants in general, Cardinal Czerny expressed the hope that the Covid-19 pandemic would discourage the “hollow and shallow attacks of a xenophobic nature” and political positioning against “foreigners” now that people have discovered just how pivotal migrants and refugees are for “essential services,” including health care, agriculture and food production and home care.

极速飞艇助手“Far from being intruders, they are very much needed,” he said. “My hope is that experience will help people become resistant to these cheap and most regrettable attacks.”

[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of Pope Francis.]

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