‘Tania and her 14 year old son Ivan are Russian and have been living illegally in Belgium for eight years. Constantly on her guard, Tania dreads police checks until the day comes when she is arrested…’
Illégal was screened at the Regional Assembly of Emmaus Europe on 11 May 2011 in the presence of its director, Olivier Masset-Depasse.
A lot of the meeting participants stayed behind to watch the film and many were moved by the close-to-home daily reality of foreign nationals who are kept in detention centres before they are deported.
Although Illégal is a fictional account, it has picked up several awards, including the Cannes 2010 Directors’ Fortnight SACD prize, and also successfully fulfils its aim of highlighting and denouncing the treatment of migrants. Indeed, the European media is no longer hesitant about referring to the issue.
In the name of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Emmaus Movement Manifesto, right from its early days Emmaus Europe has been taking action by raising the awareness of civil society and political decision-makers, both at national and European level, about the need to adopt a migrant reception policy that respects human rights and the international conventions.
Offering unconditional shelter and support is one of Emmaus’ core principles. The 270 member organisations working in 16 European countries enable deprived people, whatever their nationality, to regain their dignity through work in society. Human dignity remains one of our main concerns.
The May 2011 Regional Assembly of Emmaus Europe voted in favour of continuing the political lobbying on migration, which will enable the work done over the past few years to be deepened, notably work on the asylum package undertaken as a result of votes taken at the 2009 Regional Assembly in Brussels.
The primary aim of the Emmaus Movement is to address poverty and its root causes and to ensure that all human beings are respected and can lead dignified lives. Let’s continue to raise awareness and mobilise support to ensure that migrants’ rights are respected.