The Pope calls on governments and Christians to promote the integration of immigrants into society as part of his message for World Migration Day January 13th.

Roughly three percent of the world population is made up of immigrants. According to the International Organization for Migration, this figure has increased even more with the economic crisis and with refugees who flee from violence. In 2011, about 214 million people left their countries, which shows an increase of 23 million people when compared to seven years earlier.

“Today in fact we can see that many migrations are the result of economic instability, the lack of essential goods, natural disasters, wars and social unrest. Instead of a pilgrimage filled with trust, faith and hope, migration then becomes an ordeal undertaken for the sake of survival, where men and women appear more as victims than as agents responsible for the decision to migrate. As a result, while some migrants attain a satisfactory social status and a dignified level of life through proper integration into their new social setting, many others are living at the margins, frequently exploited and deprived of their fundamental rights, or engaged in forms of behaviour harmful to their host society. The process of integration entails rights and duties, attention and concern for the dignified existence of migrants; it also calls for attention on the part of migrants to the values offered by the society to which they now belong.

Text of his Message.




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