Jesuits call for increased efforts to combat racism in Europe
On the eve of the European-wide week of Action Against Racism, the Jesuit Refugee Service has called on governments to work more pro-actively to integrate refugees and migrants.
"JRS is very concerned about some emerging trends," said European JRS Director Fr John Dardis SJ. "These trends show how important it is to work pro-actively to integrate local communities with newly arriving groups of migrants and refugees."
Fr Dardis said that integration is something that cannot be taked for granted.
"When refugees flee their homeland to escape persecution it is a real tragedy when they are met by a different type of persecution here in Europe," he said.
He stressed that immigrants and refugees are especially vulnerable to racist attacks since they do not always enjoy the same rights which protect citizens. He said irregular migrants and those without papers live on the margins of society and cannot easily go to the authorities to complain.
The statement called on politicians to give "positive leadership in the fight against racism".
"National governments and politicians must have the courage to denounce racism and discrimination in all its forms and draft legislation to combat such practices," said Fr Dardis.
Jesuit Refugee Service (International)
19 Mar 2002