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Pope renews call for ‘right not to emigrate’

September 25, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: On September 24, the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis reiterated that “there ought to exist the right to not emigrate.”

“Today is World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on the theme ‘Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay,’ to recall that to migrate should be a free choice, and never the only one possible,” Pope Francis said following his Angelus address. “Indeed, the right to migrate has now become an obligation for many, whereas there ought to exist the right to not emigrate, to remain in one’s own country.”

“It is necessary for every man and woman to be guaranteed the right to live a dignified life in the society in which they find themselves,” he added. “Unfortunately, poverty, wars and the climate crisis force so many people to flee. Therefore, we are all required to create communities that are ready and open to welcome, promote, accompany and integrate those who knock on our doors.”

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