Pope appeals for help for migrants in Libya
POPE FRANCIS has reiterated his calls for the international community to “keep its promises” to refugees and migrants in Libya suffering in large camps. Speaking to Roman Catholics gathered for his Angelus address in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, the Pope said that he had heard the cries of men, women, and children languishing in appalling conditions in Libya and subjected to violence and human-rights abuses. “I ask the international community to keep its promises and to find concrete and long-term solutions to regulate the migratory flows in Libya and throughout the Mediterranean,” he said. This must include ending the practice of returning migrants picked up in the Mediterranean to Libya.
Palestinian groups not terrorists, say British charities
SIXTEEN British charities at work in the Middle East have criticised the Israeli government for designating as “terrorist organisations” six Palestinian civil-society groups. The signatories — among them Amnesty International, Christian Aid, CAFOD, Embrace the Middle East, Oxfam, Save the Children and Quakers in Britain — have said the six groups are internationally recognised for their work defending human rights, advocating for children, and providing vital humanitarian services. The charities have also urged the UK Government to give public support to the proscribed organisations.
WCC celebrates six years of children’s advocacy
A NEW report by the World Council of Churches (WCC) has hailed the impact of collaborating with UNICEF to improve children’s lives. In 2015, after the WCC Assembly that year and its declaration to “put children at the centre”, the WCC established a partnership with the UN’s children’s body to resource churches. This led in turn to the production of toolkits to help churches to protect children, strive for climate justice, and promote the participation of young people. “We are bound together by the moral imperative of caring for the well-being of children,” said Paloma Escudero from UNICEF. “The pillars of the Churches’ Commitment to Children — child protection, climate justice and the promotion of child participation — are key ingredients of the future we strive to achieve for every child.”