Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Ekklesia, along with representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales (who commissioned it), is the first to respond to a vital new survey conducted by the Von Hugel Institute: Catholic report shows that migration is about need not numbers.
A university-based Catholic research body at the University of Cambridge has published a report which illustrates the shocking conditions endured by many migrant workers contributing to the economic life of the UK.

“This survey shows that exploitation in an unequal world is the true story of economic migration – not scaremongering about scroungers, which is what the press and politicians often latch onto”, commented Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. “These are people contributing to our wealth. They deserve fair shares, but instead they face discrimination.”

Ekklesia says that though the Catholic Church, because of its demography, is especially linked with workers from the EU accession countries and beyond, the human challenge migrants pose is one which humanitarian groups of all religious persuasions and none should face up to.

“The Von Hugel report should encourage politicians, journalists and policy makers to focus on needs rather than numbers in the debate about a just immigration policy”, said Simon Barrow.

Ekklesia is also commending the 'Strangers into Citizens' campaign, which is calling for a one-off “earned amnesty” for migrants (whether asylum seekers or economic migrants) who have made new lives in the UK. The campaign, initiated and backed by citizens groups and churches, argues that migrants who have been in the UK for four years or more should be admitted to a two-year "pathway to citizenship". Ekklesia is currently researching alternative approaches to migration based on global mutuality rather than narrow national interests. {Pic: Westminster Cathedral}

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