The international community must increase its efforts to help protect the lives of refugees, who are often exploited instead of being protected, a Vatican official said.
While some governments, with the help of faith-based organisations, have offered “durable solutions to refugees”, including resettlement programmes, more needs to be done, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to UN agencies in Geneva, said on 7th July at a meeting sponsored by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The meeting was called to discuss the UNHCR’s 2019 document, Resettlement and Complementary Pathways, which offered a three-year strategy to increase the number of resettlement countries, develop opportunities for refugees to be more self-reliant and promote welcoming and more-inclusive societies.
Archbishop Jurkovic noted “that the overwhelming majority of refugees and families remain uncertain of their future and are forced, at best, to survive without being able to fulfil their own daily needs or, at worst, are confined to detention centers, where they are deprived of access to education, health care, and decent work opportunities, and risk being subjected to the crimes of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.”
In his address, Archbishop Jurkovic said the Vatican recognised the UN High Commissioner’s efforts to “increase third-country solutions for refugees”.
Picture: An internally displaced Syrian poses in her tent at a camp near the Turkish border in late June. (CNS photo/Khalil Ashawi, Reuters).