(Spain). On 18 December 2020, the International Day for the Rights of Migrants is celebrated, established in 2000 by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the date on which in 1990, the International Convention for the protection of the rights of all was adopted by the UN migrant workers and members of their families.
The document was formulated following a serious accident in 1972 in the Mont Blanc tunnel towards France, to a truck carrying sewing machines in which 28 clandestine workers were traveling, looking for a job and better living conditions, victims from Mali. The Convention recognizes the vulnerable situation of migrant workers, promoting decent and legitimate working and living conditions, as well as providing guidance for developing national policies based on respect for human rights.
According to the World Migration Report 2020 of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 272 million international migrants were registered in 2019. The main causes of human mobility are linked to conflicts, situations of violence or economic and political instability, and the effects of climate change.
In the face of the migrant reality, the National Coordination of the Salesian Social Platforms, a network made up of the social entities of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Salesians of Don Bosco in Spain, works to promote the processes of welcoming and integrating children, adolescents, young people, and families at risk, generating proposals and synergies for social transformation and the fight against inequalities.
In the five social bodies they manage – Mary Help of Christians Foundation, Valsè Foundation, Mornese Foundation, Canarias Maìn Foundation, and Valponasca Association – the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians deal with projects to respond to specific needs, such as the regularization of documents, work placement paths, accommodation for young people, psychological support, intercultural mediation actions, projects to promote women, training courses, guidance and legal advice, reaching more than 35,000 migrants.
In preparation for the International Day for the Rights of Migrants, various initiatives have been promoted by the Entities. “Diversity enriches us, respect unites us” is the slogan chosen for the Intercultural Week organized by the Mornese Foundation, during which testimonies of life, experiences, recipes of different places, crafts, typical costumes, etc. were shared. “With this week we are leaving behind a different year, full of challenges. We have the opportunity to write our dreams and our hopes for the next new year”, say the migrants
The Coordination of Social Platforms has also organized an online training course with the collaboration of the PorCausa Foundation, for the construction of new narratives on migrants and refugees. With this day, the Salesian Social Entities unite to respond to the challenge of contemporary migration, to “welcome, protect, promote, and integrate”, as indicated by Pope Francis in the Message the World Day of Migrants and Refugees of 2018.