Migrant Workers: An Asia-Pacific Experience
The recent Regional Conference on Migrant Workers with Asian realities was the third in the series of the meetings that dealt with the issues on migration. The September 9-11 meet focused on the Asian context with the theme of “Migrant Workers: An Asia-Pacific Experience.”
The first Conference was held in Rome in 2016, the second in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2017. The New Delhi conference held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Okhla, was sponsored and organized by the Congregations of St. Joseph (CSJ) with eight other major International Religious NGOs working in the United Nations (UN) at New York — FondazioneProcladeInternazionale – Onlus (Claretians), Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto, International Presentation Association, Passionists International, Sisters of Charity Federation, UNANIMA International and VIVAT International.
The national co-organizers were Caritas India, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Labour Office, New Delhi, Montfort Social Institute Hyderabad, Streevani Pune and Odisha Regional Forum for Social Action. The response of the 161 participants for this conference was overwhelming. The richness of the insights, wisdom and experiences of the resource persons, speakers, the enthusiasm and participation of all the participants joined in making the event successful and memorable. That fulfills the first primary goal of this event, namely providing the space for conversation among us around the issues of migrant workers and internally displaced persons due to corporate, conflict, environment and poverty.
The Sisters of St. Joseph are present in 30 of the 22 Indian states. We are committed to integrate our decisions with the outcome statement from this conference and will work with it.
Our members realized that we have a greater responsibility in our constituencies. Many of them expressed that the conference was very educative and informative. It was challenging to some because for many it was a new topic since India denies that we do not have migrants and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in our country but in reality nearly 2.4 million people internally displaced in India alone. As per the report of UN by “Internal Displacement Monitoring Center,” that the conflict, violence and disaster caused 31.1 million new internally displacements in 2016. The meeting having been attended by 30 of us now triggers us to carry forward the mission among the IDPS in a concrete manner. Therefore our immediate response is to go beyond the peripheries and get involved into the bitter realities of the sufferings of this unfortunate section of humanity.