Avoiding death and danger isn’t enough to live a life that’s truly free, writes Andy Hamilton SJ to mark this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Instead, we must dismantle cruel immigration policies and stand in solidarity with those whose “great spirit and resilience” sees them building new lives in Australia.
Each year, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees invites us to pay attention to people who are in desperate need. It also allows us to notice the changes in the world that affect them.
This year, the theme of the week is ‘Freedom to Live’. It points to signs of life amid the surrounding news of deaths and disrespect.
The darkness is easy to see. Think of the increased number of people forced from their homes by persecution, poverty, or by the wars in Ukraine and in Africa. Think, too, of the harsh treatment everywhere of people who seek protection, including those allowed to drown in the Mediterranean, and the boat that drifted for many weeks in the sea, and the dumping of refugees on barges in England.
In the midst of all this suffering and cruelty are also signs of hope.