We are delighted to invite you to this virtual launch of Franciscans International’s new publication on migration

As the world has been largely paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the highly vulnerable situations in which the overwhelming majority of migrants and refugees find themselves have been further aggravated. Some migrants have been trapped in countries of transit without any means to access the most basic levels of food, water or health as shelters and institutions had to close. Others have been detained in overcrowded centres, left without information and without protection against the spread of the virus.

Millions of families depending on the remittances sent by their migrant relatives have been forced to survive without this essential financial support due to the economic crisis, lock-downs and other measures. The lack of access to safe water and adequate housing in camps have rendered millions of refugees unable to comply with the most basic protection measures against COVID-19.

Nevertheless, the pandemic is only a magnifying glass of structural problems that migrants, and people forced to move more generally, face. Among these structural issues, there are many prejudices and “myths”, xenophobia and racism, often linked and fuelled by States policies that disregard human rights obligations that these very States have committed to comply with.

In this context, Franciscans International, with the support of Misean Cara, is launching its new publication on migration that aims at challenging some of these myths and prejudices. “Tearing Down the Walls” uses international human rights standards and States commitments to provide people working with migrants and refugees on the ground with arguments to promote their rights and dignity.

26 November 2020

8:30 – 10am (Guatemala Ciudad)
9:30 – 11:00am (New York)
2:30 – 4pm (Dublin)
3:30 – 5pm (Geneva) 
4:30 – 6pm (Johannesburg)

Interpretation available in English and Spanish


Part 1: Setting the scene

Welcome address by
John Moffett,

Chief Executive Officer at Misean Cara

Opening remarks by
Cardinal Michael Czerny,

Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Presentation of “Tearing Down the Walls” by
Sandra Epal-Ratjen
International Advocacy Director at Franciscans International

Part 2: Religious networks working with migrants on the ground

 “The work of Franciscan migrant houses in Central America” by
Rosario Martínez Álvarez
onsultant on migration working with the Franciscan JPIC Office in Guatemala

“Underreported migrants’ situations in Brazil” by
Savia Cordeiro,
Former Director of the Centro de Referência e Atendimento para Imigrantes (CRAI) in São Paolo, Brazil

“Access to education and employment for refugees” by
Mark Potterton,

Principal of the Sacred Heart College in South Africa

Part 3: Questions and answers

Event facilitation by
Budi Tjahjono,

Asia Pacific Program Coordinator at Franciscans International