Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Church’s Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, has welcomed the publication of a new report by Catholic organisation Jesuit Refugee Service UK arguing for a radically new ‘human-centred’ approach to asylum.
Titled Being Human in the Asylum System, the report draws on principles of Catholic Social Teaching and concludes that new government proposals to reform the asylum system will “deepen hostility to refugees” and “threaten the fabric of society”.
“Being Human in the Asylum System is a timely reminder that refugees are not a political problem to be solved, but people with dignity who deserve our respect and protection,” says Bishop McAleenan.
“This report is not only rooted in Catholic Social Teaching but was informed by truly listening to the voices of refugees about their unique experiences, something that we all need to do much more.
“Engaged in daily encounters with refugees the Jesuit Refugee Service speaks from a position of knowledge and authority. Driven by the principle that ‘we are not being called to share magnanimously what is ours, but to share what belongs in justice, for our common dignity’ the report is uncompromising. Justice cannot be compromised, people’s welfare must be prioritised.
“Therefore I hope that this report will be seriously considered by policy makers and will contribute towards building an asylum system that puts people at the centre.”