On the occasion of the 109th World Day of the Migrant and Refugee, Pope Francis reminds us that the decision to migrate should always be free, yet millions of people each year have no choice and are forced to leave their homelands because of conflicts, persecution, natural disasters or more simply because of difficulties in living a dignified life in their own country.
Eliminating such causes and thus ending forced migration, requires the joint efforts of everyone, each according to their responsibilities.
“To make migration a choice that is truly free, efforts must be made to ensure to everyone an equal share in the common good, respect for his or her fundamental rights, and access to an integral human development. Only in this way will we be able to offer to each person the possibility of a dignified and fulfilling life.”
Watch the testimony of Melanie Martinez about JRS’s accompaniment of those most vulnerable in Barrancabermeja, Colombia.