The Migration and Refugee Cluster joins the HEST process

The arrival of migrants and refugees to Europe has been one of the hot topics for decades and it is even more intense, since the start of the civil wars in Syria and Libya. The unhuman conditions, which they have suffered, and the deaths of thousands in the Mediterranean Sea have generated an outcry in the public opinion. At the same time, the public debate in some of the latest elections (such as in France, Netherlands, Austria or the United Kingdome) have rebuke around the role of migration in society. In this context, the Migrations and refugees cluster as part of Higher Education for Social Transformation Programme (HEST) is fostering the debate from an Ignatius perspective: What is the specific contribution that Jesuits Higher Education and Social Institutions can provide to this topic?

Last 21th and 22th in Madrid the Migrants and refugees cluster met for its first meeting at Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid (Spain).

We started the meeting presenting the general lines of the HEST programme, and afterwards we spent the evening presenting every member and their work related to the topic and getting to know each other. We had 6 institutions represented (Migrations and refugees Research Center of Pontifical University of Comillas Madrid, Human Rights Deusto Institute from Bilbao, JRS Belgium, Global Studies Center from Munich, Jesuits University Ignatiatum from Poland and Escuelas SAFA from Ubeda) with different experiences and competences. In addition, they count with Peter Rozic (from JESC) and Alberto Ares (from SJM) on the first day of the meeting.

The second they focused around which opportunities we could have if we combined our strengths as a cluster; what has been done about the social implications of migration and refugee problems and how Jesuit values, the option for the poor and justice can be integrated into real policy decision.

At the end of the meeting, an action plan from 2017 to 2019 was developed involving a research project, a workshop and shared publications on the topic.

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