Solidarity is a right not a crime

The subject of the criminalization of humanitarian actors and members of civil society who show solidarity with migrants and refugees, sadly returned to the fore these days in Italy, is also very current in Geneva. In particular, during the first day of the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council, held on June 24th, the topic was debated as the subject of a report presented in the courtroom by the Independent Expert Obiora C. Okafor, a scholar appointed by the United Nations to deal with all issues related to Human Rights and International Solidarity. Back in 2018, Okafor had supported the need to address the global immigration challenge from the perspective of international solidarity, emphasizing, in particular, the role of civil society in promoting the latter.

Consistently, at the last session of the Council, the Independent Expert presented a report in which he argued that the stigma and indictment of those who provide humanitarian assistance or show solidarity to irregular immigrants and refugees is a serious act and unjustified. At the same time, in its conclusions, it renewed the recommendation for states not to shirk international obligations and duties of assistance and reception, to guarantee the actions of actors motivated by humanitarian reasons and, finally, to engage in discouraging any discriminatory behavior or intimidating towards individuals and organizations that help migrants.

The Pope John XXIII Community recognizes the principle of solidarity among its priorities and has been fought for years. The Geneva Delegation also believes in the management of migratory and refugee flows to be regulated according to the criterion of international solidarity. This implies that the states do not continue to pursue short-sighted migration policies, but take full awareness of their interdependence, adopting only the highest form of cooperation, but guaranteeing the agreements signed reflect absolute respect for human rights. that generated poverty, violence and injustice.

On the other hand, this is the way in which it is based. As part of the plenary assembly of the Council, in the presence of dignitaries, of the Special Referent on Immigration, Felipe González Morales, and of Okafor himself. In both statements, written and oral, it explicitly states that, "although civil society organizations continue to provide crucial support for newcomers, human rights activists are under attack" and "NGOs have become the target of toxic campaigns aimed at delegitimizing their activities and denying the humanitarian nature of their actions ". APG23 underlines the critical role in the integration of migrants, in the promotion and in the protection of their dignity, as well as in the construction of a positive narrative, contrary to the discriminatory one and full of hatred, fueled by some media and politicians. Therefore, we strongly reiterate how "irregular immigration is not crime, just those who act in the spirit of solidarity, unity and humanity are not criminals", We delegate recalled in its interventions how to restrict immigration policies lead to disastrous consequences.

Following the example of Pope Francis, the Pope John XXIII Community strongly supports the need to cry of the weakest, in no way avoiding the obligation of assistance and protection of human rights action of the States, but works on several levels and involves actors of different nature. Consequently, we are looking at the positive examples that have been shown in the social fabric. In order, therefore, to present a positive counter-narrative and the possible perspective of a different future, the virtuous example of humanitarian corridors was mentioned, recalling, finally,


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