Our world continues to experience multiple humanitarian crises that consistently put millions of lives at risk. As the UN notes, humanitarian crises “often result or exacerbate human rights concerns.” These crisis events significantly disrupt the safety and well-being of individuals, which force accelerated migratory patterns, and in many cases, make the transition a dangerous one. These events can also challenge our tolerance, empathy, and humanity.
A migrant’s journey usually carries a heavy burden. For individuals that are forced to flee their country of origin due to natural disasters, economic, conflict, violence, or other major emergencies, their transition can be extremely taxing and even a traumatic one. Amidst a backdrop of a pandemic, migrants must often also battle multiple dangers such as facing discriminatory practices, exposure to violence and exploitation based on their vulnerable circumstances, in particular women and girls.
Everybody’s safety and well-being should be regarded, and above all a sense of cooperation that rallies around the dignity of every human being. No country has a monopoly on stability and a pandemic can often remind us how universal hard times and suffering can be.
Let’s urge each other to respond with an attitude of kindness and cooperation during these dark times especially to those seeking asylum. True hope for humanity lies in lifting each other up and our ability to uphold the human dignity of those around us.
Monthly column written for St. Joseph Catholic Church, Tampa, FL