New Delhi, India. The United Nations (UN) based Religious Organizations organized an Asian Conference on Migration with a special focus on Migrant workers that took place at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Okhla, New Delhi from 9th to 11th September 2018. This conference is initiated and sponsored by some of the Religious Congregations working at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. This is the third in the series of Migration Conferences organized by the UN based Organizations (Religious Congregations). The earlier conferences were held in Rome (Europe) in 2016 and in Nairobi (Africa) in 2017. The Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus (Claretians at the UN) is one of the organizing partners of this event. Different local organizations, which are working with the Migrants, Domestic workers (internal and external), Child Labour, Human Trafficking, Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced People due to Mining, climate change and Religious Atrocities, Street Children, Railway Children, Homeless, Beggars and Unemployment, Poverty, Hunger and related issues jointly organized this conference. Frs. Rohan Dominic (New York) and George Kannanthanam CMF (India), represented the Claretians in the organizing committee.
Eleven Claretians from India, Sri Lanka and South Korea belonging to the Bangalore, St. Thomas Provinces, Independent Delegation of Korea, and Dependent Delegations of Kolkotta and Sri Lanka participated in the event. Fr. Surendra Kumar CMF (Sri Lanka) and Fr. James Jose CMF (Korea) shared their experiences of working with the Refugees and Migrants respectively during the conference. There were around 160 national and Asian participants mainly from India and from Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea and Sri Lanka.
The purpose of this conference was to understand the migration and the migrant workers in global and Asian context and to develop a deeper understanding of the issues and policies connected to it. This conference was also expected to provide a forum to share and learn from each other the best practices to address the issues and further, to promote and strengthen the collaboration, partnership and network at local, national, regional and global levels. The participants and organizers expressed satisfaction of the programme and decided to strengthen the network in all levels among the Asian Catholic organizations and persons to serve every kind of migrants and refugees in Asia.
Bishop Theodore Mascarehas, the Secretary General of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) was the Chief Guest on the inaugural day. There were speeches, panel discussions, sharing from Asian countries and the personal experiences of survivors.
This conference is organized at a very appropriate time. The UN has adapted recently the final drafts on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and Global Compact on Refugees. The High Commissioner of Human Rights will propose the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) during the UN General Assembly in September 2018. The final adaption of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) will take place during the intergovernmental conference on international migration on 10-11 December 2018 in Morocco.