The Migration and Human Trafficking Collective met in Germany on 24-25 June 2016 and received a warm welcome from Emmaus Krefeld, the host community. In the current migration context, the meeting focused on the issue of people’s tendency to cling to their cultural identities.
Stakeholders from the Emmaus Movement in Europe met with representatives of Krefeld local council and the local refugee centre. Damien Carême, the mayor of Grande-Synthe and the person behind France’s first humanitarian migrant camp, took part in the two days of collaborative discussions. Each participant was also able to share their experiences and opinions of this phenomenon while seeking to address it.
The presentation of positive local initiatives run in Krefeld and Grande-Synthe and refugees’ testimonies added to the debate with concrete examples of offering shelter and support to people in very different migration situations. Krefeld is taking in people who mostly want to put down roots in Germany and be a part of society. The Grande-Synthe camp, meanwhile, is a response to the humanitarian emergency and primarily provides accommodation for people looking to travel to the UK. In both cases, the active involvement and support of the local population and the courage of local politicians are vital if positive migrant reception initiatives are to be successfully run.
This meeting fell within the scope of the rollout of the policy areas approved by the September 2015 Regional Assembly of Emmaus Europe, namely to step up our European Union lobbying work and to protest against current European migration policy in order to champion freedom of movement in conjunction with Emmaus International and the Emmaus Movement’s national organizations. In keeping with this work, the Migration and Human Trafficking Collective will continue its work championing solutions that enable people from all backgrounds to integrate society and will strive to ensure that their fundamental rights are respected.
Let’s move beyond the selfishness of individual countries and awaken solidarity!