Pope Francis indicated four verbs, a method and a path, in line with the social teachings of the Church.
- First of all, we must welcome these people, starting from their wish to build a decent life for themselves and their families, and contribute to improving conditions in their beloved homeland: we must welcome their wish for a future. Sharing their freedom to leave is our first social duty.
- Embracing their wishes and sharing their freedom leads to our second duty: to protect. This means coming closer, sharing and protecting migrants’ journeys, so this can happen in freedom, without people being doomed to be guided and exploited by traffickers of human beings. It means building a protected path, a humanitarian corridor, an entryway that is free of dangers and risks. The freedom to leave must be protected and accompanied.
- And, once again, we need to promote migrants’ capacities, education, skills and family ties for their journeys to succeed, fostering their autonomy by providing them with something more than mere aid.
- Lastly, migrants are an asset and a treasure to cities and villages; therefore, all possible efforts must be made to integrate them. Integration is the outcome of each person’s journey: it is a new citizenship, the possibility to participate, come together and make dreams come true. The complexity of this process requires training, dialogue, subsidiary approaches, everybody’s participation, inclusion, farsightedness and plans that take the needs and specificities of receiving areas and communities into account.
The freedom to leave does not deny the freedom to stay or go back to one’s own country. Rather, it is a welcoming path, that includes protection, promotion and integration, which might also become the best premise to begin a journey back home, in order to bring back a story of freedom and development-building. This new homecoming story can be made easier thanks to migrants’ personal abilities, and also thanks to a kind of cooperation that gives priority to ’microprojects’ over ‘macroprojects’ – as Pope Benedict XVI mentioned in Caritas in Veritate -, that assist and support people in their lands, as well as favoring social and healthcare infrastructures, through participation-based and democratic proposals and initiatives.
New and interdisciplinary processes are needed, that are devoid of prejudice and are open to a broad and constructive dialogue that addresses many complex situations that are often related to each other at national, European and international level, and are linked to equally complex causative factors that require an in-depth analysis.