Pope Francis issued an appeal for a collective responsibility to address the challenges faced by refugees worldwide in his message delivered to the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.
The Pope commended the aspirations of migrants seeking to contribute positively to the societies they move to, emphasizing the importance of cooperation as a key solution to global problems.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to live a dignified life in their own country,” he said.
He lamented a perceived regression, noting that nearly 114 million people are forcibly displaced due to conflicts, violence, persecution, and the effects of climate change.
The Pope criticized inadequate global responses to the increasingly complex reasons for migration, emphasizing that protecting and saving human lives must remain the top priority.
“We continue to mourn the countless lives lost on land and at sea while seeking protection or fleeing from a hopeless future,” he said.
Pope Francis insisted that no one should be repatriated to a country where they could face severe human rights violations or even death.
He called on communities to be ready and open to welcome, promote, accompany, and integrate those seeking refuge.
Pope Francis stressed that being a refugee should recognize full God-given human dignity, saying, “We must acknowledge that being a refugee should not be a mere granting of a status.”
He emphasized the importance of refugees having access to food, healthcare, education, and dignified work.
The Pope called for understanding, inclusion, love, and care, highlighting the need for refugees to be recognized as individuals with rights and duties, not just objects of assistance.
“We are called to choose either the culture of humanity and fraternity or the culture of indifference,” he said.