The World Council of Churches and ecumenical partners are co-hosting an event on migration and displacement at United Nations on Monday 22 January 2018. Proceedings from the United Nations headquarters in New York will be streamed online from 2pm until 10pm (GMT).
Why do people move? When their movement is forced, how should this be addressed? How can nations and faith-based organizations work together to mitigate the causes of forced migration and protect individuals who are forced to flee? What are the national and international legal architectures that need to be constructed to prevent a repeat of our recent failures as nations and organizations to protect and provide for migrants? What risks and rights challenges do migrants face in transit and in destination countries? What are the social costs of migration? And what is the benefit of host nations receiving migrants?
These are some of the questions to be considered by the Fourth Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs, an event co-sponsored by the World Council of Churches, together with ACT Alliance, the United Methodist Church and the Seventh-day Adventists.
The event is timely since UN member nations are preparing their global compacts for refugees and migrants to be presented for dialogue and adoption at the 2018 UN general assembly.
The World Council of Churches explain in their press release that “nearly 50% of all funding for the global migration crisis comes from faith-based organizations”.
This symposium will open the essential space for FBO-nation state partnerships leading to a more humane and well-crafted compact. Although mobility, migration and displacement are currently high on policy agendas from the global level to the local, the goal of a comprehensive, human-rights-based approach to migration and displacement presents difficult challenges in the current global context.
Previous symposiums convened by faith-based ecumenical partners and the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Engagement with Faith-based Organizations have focussed on the intersections of religion and international affairs from the perspective of human dignity and human rights; the prevention of atrocity crimes and violent extremism; and just, inclusive and sustainable peace.