ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo was in Washington, D.C., on 11 September 2001. Twenty years later, he reflects on his memories of that day and on its long-term effects. "We need the slow building of trust and respect for the dignity of all human beings," he urges in this interview in German.
Walls and hostile policies won’t deter people fleeing war, persecution or poverty, says ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo in an interview about responses to migration. “Towards an Ever Wider We,” the theme of this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, offers a different approach.
Forced displacement is a global reality that calls for a human-centered response. In this interview with Vatican News, ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo appeals for Catholics to live out their Church’s teachings regarding migrants and refugees and to get to know displaced people as people.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, over 400,000 seafarers have been left trapped on ships long after their original contract has expired. Many suffer from trauma and health issues. A coalition of Catholic organizations, including ICMC, is asking governments to address this humanitarian crisis at sea.
In this radio interview in French, ICMC Director of Policy Stéphane Jaquemet discusses today's most pressing issues in the era of COVID-19, such as access to the vaccine for migrants and refugees. He also explains how ICMC protects migrants and refugees through direct action and advocacy work.
ICMC’s Urban Cohesion Hub was inaugurated on 15 February near Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. The new facility offers integrated services, including health, education, skill training, legal support, and recreational activities, to over 30,000 Afghan refugees.
As refugees in Jordan are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis, ICMC is adapting its services. This article by Vatican News, available in French and Italian, describes how ICMC Jordan’s child protection, education, livelihood, and gender equality projects help Syrian refugees during these challenging times. Italian version here. French version here.
ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo has applauded the possibility of the U.S. becoming again a country that welcomes refugees. With the recent presidential election, “some rays of light are shining on the horizon,” he says in an opinion piece published in German in Switzerland. He also explains why refugees are a great asset to any country.
The COVID-19 pandemic puts us at a crossroads; we can’t go back to the “old normal.” What we need is a change of policies, practices, and behavior at all levels. Big business and government must change their values and focus more on persons than on money or power — says ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, in this interview with Vatican News.
In this interview (in German), ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo explains what Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” means to him. He describes what it means to adopt a Catholic welcoming culture inclusive of migrants and refugees. He explains why he believes that migrants and refugees who stand up for others are modern-day good Samaritans.
Every day, thousands of families are forced to flee their homes. That’s why ICMC marked the World Day of Migrants and Refugees with a webinar on how forced displacement affects families on the move, explains ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo. “Although many people are forced to flee alone, many come in the whole family.”
“We should refrain from discussing ‘burden-sharing’ to receive migrants and refugees but recognize the ‘resource sharing’ that is provided by their arrival … into many of our aging and tired communities,” says ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, in this interview that focuses on migration from Africa to Europe and America.
In this interview (in German), ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo shares his family’s migration story from Italy to the United States and compares their journey to the hardships that many migrants and refugees face today. He also discusses how COVID-19 affects migrants and refugees and explains how ICMC supports them throughout the crisis.
Across the world, aid groups warn that human trafficking and slavery are continuing and perhaps even growing under COVID-19 lockdown. In Malaysia, ICMC's Refugee Protection Corps provides assistance to survivors of gender-based violence and is releasing awareness-raising videos to reach survivors in their homes during the lockdown.
Human trafficking goes on in many forms all over the world, points out ICMC Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo in this interview. The issue, which Pope Francis has linked “to the whole culture of waste where people think that they can use other people,” needs to be talked about more and then “find the way we can take action to stop it,” he adds.