World Refugee Day is celebrated around the world on June 20. This year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has chosen “The Right to Seek Asylum” as its theme.
“Every person on our planet has the right to seek safety – whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they have been forced to flee,” the High Commissioner’s Office defends. In the current context of ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world and the increase in extreme weather events, the right to safety should be recognized by all.
Several awareness activities are organized to mark this world day. It is also an opportunity to invite people to get involved, to take concrete actions to express their solidarity with refugees. While UNCHR has collected many photos to illustrate what it means to flee one’s home in difficult conditions, a duty of memory and history was carried out by Marina Amaral. She added color to some of the pictures to allow us to delve into the past by looking at everything with new eyes.
SNJM Corporate Stand
This day is also an opportunity for the Congregation to recall its Corporate Stand on Migrants and Refugees:
“We, members of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, guided by our faith and our charism, collaborate with migrant and refugee people to promote respect for their rights. We call on all nations, especially those with a SNJM presence, to strengthen the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all migrant and refugee people around the world.”
Actions to show solidarity with refugees
The Congregation Leadership Team invite every sister and affiliate to consider a way that you might live more fully into this SNJM Corporate Stand through prayer and action. Wherever possible “partner with immigrants, refugees, and indigenous people to resist racism, advocate for human rights and create welcoming communities.” (33rd GC Acts)
Thank you to all who are housing immigrants and refugees, serving immigrants as they cross the borders of our respective countries, providing para legal support, advocating for, educating and accompanying our sisters and brothers.