- ‘Hope Away from Home’ – A Dream Deferred0.36 MB
Every year 20th June is observed internationally as World Refugee Day. Two points need to be made immediately. Firstly, the day itself, is not meant to be ‘a one day focus’, but instead provides, through its theme, a lens or hermeneutic to analyse and assess the dynamics, and especially the policies, that are at work generally in the refugee world, for the rest of the year. Thus over the years these themes combine to establish a jurisprudence with regard to mobile people.
Secondly, in order to avoid confusion, it should be noted that the Roman Catholic Church observes World Refugee Day as a day of prayer on the last Sunday in September. It focuses on migrants and refugees as well as all other categories of mobile people as a composite group on that day.
Part of the rationale for this combined focus is that traditionally refugees have far greater protection under international conventions and protocols, as well as domestic law, than other categories of mobile people. By removing this distinction – and often times prejudice – the Church seeks to advocate equally, without distinction, for all people thus affected. The 2023 theme for World Refugee Day is Hope Away from Home.
Paper by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office