Lima (Fides Service) – According to reports by the General Direction of Migration and Naturalisation in Peru, up to July 2002, about 10% of the population had been forced to leave its land of origin in search of better living conditions. For this reason the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference, echoing the appeal launched by Pope John Paul II and aware that this serious problem involves much of the population, chose as the theme for this year’s Solidarity Campaign, the difficult situation of migrants and their families. In his message for Migrants’ Day this year the Pope says that migration has become a widespread phenomenon in the world today affecting millions of people of all nationalities, and that therefore it must be faced “in the Gospel spirit of universal charity”.
Solidarity Campaign 2003, with the theme “ Let’s globalise solidarity with migrants” was launched at the national level on 17 May, and will entail a series of events all over the country. The aim is to increase awareness with regard to the migratory phenomenon, to promote a culture of acceptance and solidarity not as an isolated act, promoted by temporary feeling of sympathy, but assumed as a duty of Christian charity, a lasting attitude of sharing of goods with brothers and sisters in need. On 22 and 24 August special collections will be taken all over the country for projects at the national level for migrant workers and their families. “In this commitment we cannot act alone” say the Peruvian Bishops, who call on the government and civil society to make acts of concrete commitment: promote suitable migratory policies to favour national development; ratify the International Convention for the Protection of Migrant workers and their Families; promote the work of the office for Peruvian residents abroad; prevent human trafficking; form associations of mutual assistance; spread awareness and respect for the rights of migrants. RZ (Fides Service 28/5/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 334)