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2022 Assembly

 

World Day of Social Justice, 2016

 

“A Just Transition-Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies”
‘Time to share the wealth’; ‘New Economics’; ’Promoting environmentally sustainable economies and societies’; ’Bring people in from the margins’. These are just some of the statements that have been shared across the globe in recent days in honour of the World Day for Social Justice, 20th of February, 2016. International bodies such as the UN and the ILO (International Labour Office), Trade Unions and campaign groups took the opportunity to renew their calls for Social Justice to be prioritised by all governments and for a more equitable distribution of the world’s wealth, power and resources.
Increased armed conflicts around the globe and ensuing displacement of peoples, rising unemployment and growing levels of poverty continue to drive vulnerable women, men and children into the path of people smugglers and human traffickers as they try to pursue a better life for themselves and their families, usually in countries where they think the benefits of economic growth are available to all.
A new film The Divide (www.thedividedocumentary.com), which will premier in the UK in April, explores why and how the gap between the richest 1% in the world, continues to widen and what might possibly be done in order to end this trend. The film tells the story of seven individuals searching for a better life in modern day US and UK.
“The Divide creates a lyrical, psychological and tragi-comic picture of how economic division creates social division. It serves as both a call to arms, and a powerful waning. The film is inspired by the critically acclaimed, bestselling book, The Spirit Level, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.” (The Spirit Level documentary)
Social Justice is an issue at the heart of RENATE’s ministry, in reaching out to the victims of human trafficking and exploitation, across Europe.
For more information, please see the “Social Justice in the EU Index Report 2015” at Bertelsmann.
 
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Press Conference in Croatia for the World Day of Consecrated Life, 2 February 2016

 

Photo 1In honour of the World Day for Consecrated Life, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Croatia, held a Press Conference where the continuing refugee crisis and the importance of pastoral care of the Roma people was discussed.
Inspired by the evangelical values of Community Spirit; Acceptance and Solidarity, the JRS has been involved in providing help to asylum seekers, displaced people, migrants and refugees on the transit routes through Europe.
To date, more than 700,000 refugees have journeyed through Croatia since 2015.
Ms Jelena Firić, responsible for the JRS Legal affairs, delivered a presentation on the significant role and contributions of the JRS, which range from advocacy in public debates, the provision of legal assistance through to all forms of direct support in the camps and reception and detention centres for refugees and asylum seekers. The provision of several square metres of space specifically for the JRS within the camps has been especially helpful in providing a tranquil space in the midst of the chaos of the camps.
Photo 2Mrs Martina Prokl Predragović, JRS Communications Person, read two powerful testimonies from male and female refugees, who spoke about their exile, concerns and hope for better life in the future. Mrs. Predragović stressed the importance of social media giving adequate space to these issues. This would greatly assist in awareness-raising and the finding of humane solutions to the crisis, in direct contrast to the repression of the situation which is occurring in the Near East.
Sr. Stanka Oršolić, volunteer with the JRS, spoke about her experiences volunteering in the refugee camps. She explained the connection between the refugee crisis and human trafficking, citing the shocking fact of the disappearance of 10,000 children along the migrant routes. As has been evident at bus and train stations in Italy, Budapest and elsewhere, many minors have been left alone, having lost family or friends along the routes. These minors are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers and smugglers. Sr. Stanka highlighted the problem of the vulnerability of migrants and refugees to human smugglers, who have vast networks amongst themselves and exact enormous amounts of money from the migrants and refugees. Furthermore, Sr. Stanka explained the challenges faced by the relevant institutions in trying to identify the victims. It becomes more difficult because of the transitory nature of the migrants and refugees, who are retained only briefly in any camp.
Photo 3Sr. Karolina Miljak also spoke of her 40 years’ experience working with the Roma population in Croatia, who too are marginalised. She provides pastoral care and assists in their integration into Croatian society.
Sr. Miroslava Bradica, Vice President of the Croatian Conference of the Major Male and Female Religious Superiors, spoke about the activities of the female and male religious in Croatia during the Year of Consecrated Life.
Sr. Bradica concluded the conference by expressing her gratitude and support to the speakers for all their work. She thanked the journalists and all those who attended the conference.
Sr. Stanka Oršolić
 
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person