An Overview of ICMC’s Service to Migrants and Refugees
Geneva, 17 September 2018 - From providing humanitarian aid and protection services to advocating at international fora to building civil society and Church partnerships, ICMC’s work spans a broad range of activities across the world. Its Annual Report 2017 offers an overview of what ICMC achieved during the year together with its partners, donors, supporters and staff.
The year 2017 “wasn’t an easy one for migrants and refugees around the world,” says ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo in the report’s foreword. Massive numbers of people were forced to flee their homes, long-term displacement situations continued unabated and horrific situations of abuse were compounded by the decrease of opportunities for refugee resettlement in third countries.
“In the face of all these hardships affecting so many,” Msgr. Vitillo adds, “ICMC continued delivering aid where it was sorely needed and protecting and resettling the most vulnerable,” while advocating “for just and equitable solutions that respect the dignity and rights of migrants and refugees.”
In Syria and Jordan, ICMC delivered humanitarian assistance to victims of a seven-year war and their host communities. In Malaysia, Pakistan and Jordan, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence received protection services to overcome trauma. Health and legal services, as well as livelihoods programs, were made available to refugees in Pakistan. In Greece, ICMC experts supported the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), strengthening the response capacity of the Greek authorities.
ICMC supplied protection and resettlement experts to the UN Refugee Agency’s operations in 38 countries. Its Resettlement Support Center in Turkey and Lebanon continued to help refugees to resettle to the United States and assisted many when departures were delayed or canceled following shifts in U.S. refugee policy.
ICMC global advocacy work contributed to making the civil society voice heard in several international fora, contributing decisively to the development of the two international Compacts — on Migrants and on Refugees — through key advocacy tools and partnerships.
In Europe, ICMC advocated and laid the groundwork for additional refugee admission pathways, complementary to traditional resettlement, including community-based sponsorship programs. ICMC Europe contributed to monitoring European policies vis-à-vis Africa migration, as well as to improving the governance of migration in West Africa.
Encouraged and guided by Pope Francis’ extraordinary leadership, ICMC also continued nurturing the worldwide network of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences and related organizations dedicated to assisting uprooted people at the grassroots level.