Pope condemns anti-migrant propaganda, calls for UN pact for refugees

Pope Francis on Friday said people spreading anti-migrants propaganda “are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia” and called for global agreements on protection of refugees.

Francis, who severally stressed the need for the rights of migrants and other destitute, made a fresh appeal for them in a message released ahead of the World Day of Peace.

The Catholic Church celebrates World Day of Peace on New Year’s Day.

He said “those, who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia.

“These are matters of great concern for all those concerned about the safety of every human being.

“All indicators available to the international community suggest that global migration will continue for the future. Some consider this a threat.

“For my part, I ask you to view it with confidence as an opportunity to build peace.”

He suggested that the UN could “draft and approve two Global Compacts, one for safe, orderly and regular migration and the other for refugees,” which should “provide a framework for policy proposals and practical measures.”

The pope, the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina, called for more legal channels of migration, while “balancing our concerns about national security with concern for fundamental human rights.”
He said migrants needed protection, education opportunities and integration.

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