Anna Galdo from Caritas Roma and Michelle Hough from Caritas Internationalis General Secretariat in Senegal.
The two worlds of migration
By Michelle Hough, Caritas communications officer
I’ve just been to Senegal, I live in Rome and I come from England. And today I’m in Casablanca, where I’ve stopped off for a couple of days on my way back from Caritas’s Female Face of Migration conference in Senegal.
Zara, a Moroccan woman I know in Rome, is actually from Casablanca. However, she’s not been able to come here – to her home – for five years. She’d been studying and working hard for a family in Rome. The money she was earning wasn’t enough to go back home with her children for a holiday.
When I saw Zara last summer she was about to lose her job. This would put at risk her ability to stay in Italy. Without a job, she would eventually lose her permit to stay. That would mean living undocumented and in fear of being caught by the police. If she ever tried to go back home to Casablanca, once she got beyond Italy’s borders, she wouldn’t be let back in. But she wouldn’t go back by choice, as she had built a life in Italy.
Zara’s children have been raised in Italy, they speak Italian and not Arabic, they go to Italian schools, and yet they are not allowed Italian citizenship. They will have the pain of living in a country and yet never really belonging there. And yet, if their mother does lose her right to stay in Italy and they are deported back to Morocco, the children won’t belong there either. Continue reading
George Joseph from Caritas Sweden, Karin Keil from Caritas Austria and Belinda Mumcu from Caritas Turkey listen to Fr Jerome from Caritas Mauritania. He's telling them about the shocking conditions of migrants who have been abandoned in the desert of Mali and have set up camp and live in appalling conditions. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough
By George Joseph, Director of the Migration department for Caritas Sweden
The Algerian government dumps migrants in the middle of the desert in Mali and they are just left there. This is the reality of migrants not only sent back to Algeria, but also Libya and Morocco. Hundreds of people die in the desert as a result.
Sometimes, migrants are sent back to countries where they are held in detention camps where their human rights are abused. Continue reading
A Senegalese dance group performs the journey of migrants for participants of the Female Face of Migration conference in Saly, Senegal. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough
By Fr Jerome Otitoyomi Dukiya, Caritas Nouadhibou , Mauritania
There’s a place called Tinzawaten on the border between Mali and Algeria where people are just abandoned. They’re people who’ve been deported from Algeria.
The European Union signed an agreement with Algeria about the return of migrants it was to take them back to their back to their own country, not abandon them in the desert.
The migrants left at Tinzawaten don’t eat for days and they don’t have water to bathe in. They live in an abandoned village which was destroyed by rebels during the war and many of the houses don’t have roofs. It’s cold in the desert at night. Continue reading
Caritas representatives from all over the world and a range of high-level migration experts from international organisations will discuss trafficking, exploitation and abuse at the conference "The Female Face of Migration" in Saly, Senegal, from 30 November-2 December 2010. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough
By Michelle Hough
The Atlantic Ocean is a graveyard. I was reminded of this during the Mass to close the first day of the Female Face of Migration conference when we were asked to pray for all the migrants who had drowned in it.
Every year hundreds, possibly thousands of immigrants die trying to cross the seas from West Africa to Europe - not just the Atlantic, which was just 30 metres from where we were attending Mass – but also the Mediterranean. Most of us aren’t really aware of this and these people remain anonymous – barely a blip on the international news. Continue reading
Fr Ambroise Tine, secretary general of Caritas Senegal; Martina Liebsch, head of policy for Caritas Internationalis and Huguette Senghor from Caritas Senegal. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough
Interview d’Abbé Ambroise Tine, Secrétaire général de Caritas Sénégal
Pourquoi la confédération Caritas Internationalis a-t-elle choisi de tenir cette conférence au Sénégal?
A.T. : Le Sénégal est un pays clé en matière de migration. Sur le plan historique, le Sénégal a été marqué par les départs forcés des esclaves vers l’Amérique, symbolisés par l’île de Gorée dont les vestiges nous rappellent cette partie de notre histoire. Aujourd’hui, le Sénégal est un pays important de départ et de transit pour les migrants. Ils viennent des autres pays de la région, de la Gambie, du Mali, de la Côte d’Ivoire, du Tchad etc., et transitent vers d’autres pays africains et l’Europe. Il est difficile de décrire ces flux de façon précise, la plupart des pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest étant à la fois des pays de départ, de transit et d’arrivée. Continue reading