Internal migrant workers in India are returning to urban centers after having gone home during the coronavirus lockdown. The Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India’s (CCBI) Commission for Migrants is calling upon the government to pass laws that will help improve their condition. The COVID-19 crisis has underlined the need to protect this population, says the Commission’s Secretary.
COVID-19 travel restrictions are preventing refugees from arriving in Canada. Deacon Rudy Ovcjak, director of the Archdiocese of Toronto's Office of Refugees and delegate to ICMC's Governing Committee on behalf of Cardinal Thomas C. Collins, worries about the fate of vulnerable refugees waiting to enter and the community members who sponsor them.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), an ICMC national member, has voiced objections to proposed new rules for asylum seekers coming to the country. The rules attempt “to curtail our nation’s long-standing commitment to providing individuals and families with humanitarian protection,” and are “unlawful” as well as “contrary to the public interest,” USCCB says.
Caritas Bangladesh, and ICMC national member organization, has expressed serious concerns over the unhygienic and cramped conditions in the Cox’s Bazar camps, which make the Rohingya refugees extremely vulnerable to Covid-19.
Bishop Ruperto Santos expressed gratitude to the king of Bahrain for the royal pardon and release of 16 convicted overseas Filipino workers. Bishop Santos is chairman of the ICMC Asia-Oceania Working Group and vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.https://mb.com.ph/2020/06/02/bishop-lauds-royal-pardon-given-to-16-ofws-in-bahrain/amp/
From healthcare workers to grocery store clerks, essential workers with an immigrant background contribute to the survival of Americans during the pandemic, says Bishop Mario Dorsonville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, an ICMC national member.
The work of ICMC member Caritas Bangladesh with Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar is one of the examples highlighted in this article about the Catholic Church’s response to the #COVID-19 pandemic. Cox’s Bazar is a refugee camp that houses some 860,000 people. On 14 May, the first case of COVID-19 was recorded there.