Pope Benedict XVI. has called for solidarity and respect for migrants. "Welcoming refugees and offering them hospitality is a duty of human solidarity for all," reads the Pope’s message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2011.
Those who are forced to leave their homes or countries must receive help to find a place where they can live in peace and safety, writes Benedict XVI. In the message released on Tuesday. As the theme for the 97. World Day on 16. January the head of the church chose the theme "One human family.
In their host country, immigrants must be able to work and ame rights and responsibilities, the Pope’s message continues. At the same time, he said, migrants have a duty to integrate into the host country and to respect its laws and national identity. The goal must be to live together in harmony. It is necessary to reconcile the welcome "owed to all people, especially those in need" with the concerns of the original host population.
Appeal to international community
States have, in the words of Benedict XVI. the right to regulate immigration flows and protect its own borders. However, this must always be done with respect for the dignity of each individual person.
The pope called on the international community to do more to help refugees. He also reminded of corresponding international agreements. At the same time he called for overcoming national egoism. He expects that the societies of the future will become more and more multiethnic and intercultural.
Around 15 million people on the run
Currently, according to the Pontifical Council for Migrants, some 15 million people worldwide are refugees under the protection of the United Nations. Most refugees live in Asia and Africa. Within their home countries, another 27 million people have left their ancestral homes, mainly as a result of human rights violations, according to.
The World Day of Migrants and Refugees was established by Pope Benedict XV in 1914. (1914-1922) in view of the plight of many refugees introduced during World War I. Pope’s message is published in advance for each of these days.