Thursday 20 June 2019: World Refugee Day
Swimming across Lake Geneva
A 13km swim paying tribute to migrants
In support of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The 50th anniversary of the Universal Manifesto of the Emmaus Movement
On Thursday 20 June 2019, an Emmaus Movement activist, Philippe Dupont, the head of the Abbé Pierre – Emmaus Centre in Esteville (France), is going to endeavour to swim 13km across Lake Geneva. He plans to set off from a village on the Swiss side of the lake (north-west side of the lake – St Robert Catholic Church in Founex) and arrive in Geneva (at the Jetée des Pâquis).
The swim should take around five hours and will be followed by a march to the UN office where a drama performance will showcase Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Emmaus Movement’s Universal Manifesto, adopted in Switzerland 50 years ago.
The aim of this sporting and citizen initiative is to pay tribute to the migrants who have perished trying to cross borders, denounce the inhumane nature of most current migration policy, and launch a debate about freedom of movement.
The distance of 13km was chosen to fit with Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which advocates freedom of movement, and 20 June is World Refugee Day. Switzerland is the country where, in 1969, all the world’s Emmaus groups were invited to gather together for the first time in their history in the federal parliament in Berne. They adopted the text shared by all the Emmaus groups for the past 50 years – the Universal Manifesto of the Emmaus Movement.
Philippe Dupont, the director of the Abbé Pierre – Emmaus Centre (a place of remembrance located in Esteville in Normandy in France) has been in training and undertaking this type of advocacy initiative for several years. He teamed up with other colleagues in 2017 to swim 10km across the Straits of Gibraltar, followed by a 17km swim in the English Channel in 2018. Along with the whole Emmaus Movement, in 2019 he wants to convey his solidarity with people fleeing dictatorships, war and extreme poverty, and to express his outrage about the security-based, inhumane and ultimately unrealistic discourse and policies.
Find out more: http://article13-emmaus.org