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By Ria Limjap
Jun 11th, 2019

The Migration Network of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific was in Seoul from April 24 to 29, to discuss how the Global Compacts on refugees and migrants can be put into action across Jesuit institutions working on the issue.

The Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation (CPBC), the official media organisation of the Catholic Church in Seoul, interviewed JCAP President Fr Tony Moreno SJ and Jesuit Refugee Service Australia Director Carolina Gottardo on the gathering. What follows is a translation of the news report by CPBC.

Twenty-five people in charge of advocacy for migrants and refugees from 13 organisations from 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region gathered in Seoul.

It is the first time in six years that the annual meeting has been held in Korea.

As the plight of refugees and migrants has emerged as a global issue, advocacy for migrants and refugees becomes one of the foremost apostolates of the Society of Jesus.

The meeting focused on how to implement the international agreement on refugees and migrants, or the Global Compacts, which was unanimously passed by representatives of 193 countries at the United Nations last year.

Participation of civil society is important because this international agreement is non-binding. To this end, Fr Tony Moreno SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, predicted that the issue of refugees and migrants will be a major challenge for the global community, and that this international agreement will mark a milestone in resolving pending issues.

The head of the Australian Jesuit Refugee Service, Carolina Gottardo, who was directly involved in the creation of the international agreement, also said the biggest problem was the lack of binding or coercion.

So the role of civil society is important, and the key is to set realistic goals and implement them in each country.”

At the meeting, they drew up a detailed advocacy plan on how the international agreement on migrants and refugees will be applied for each country.

In addition, 20 action plans for the Global Compacts and related literature on human trafficking from the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People will be translated and distributed, and related video materials will be created.

Translated by Scholastic Woo-jung Stephen Kim SJ

Article originally published in www.sjapc.net