Economic Crisis Increases Suffering of Refugees

The global economic crisis is having a doubly negative effect on migrants and refugees, as low-wage jobs disappear and resentment of foreigners grows, says the head of Caritas Internationalis. "As the world sinks deeper into economic recession, borders are closing, jobs are disappearing and life is becoming harder for refugees and migrants everywhere," said Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary-general of the umbrella organization of Catholic charities. Knight and Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, international director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, spoke in Rome on May 20 at the opening of an exhibition of photographs of refugees titled "Respecting Strangers: Replacing Fear With Welcome."

Migrants and refugees tend to be the first to lose their jobs, "not only because their status is called into question, but also because they are employed in sectors particularly affected by the economic crisis," she said. Compounding their economic difficulties, migrants face great social difficulties as well because incidents of discrimination, including violent attacks, tend to increase when people are struggling financially or are out of work, Knight said.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Greg Hicks as "Richard III" (photo: Alex Brenner)
It would be fascinating were the producers able to arrange a quick transfer to a venue somewhere near the White House.
David StewartMay 26, 2017
In the hyper-curated, beautiful world that Dev lives in, a scene that conveys the touching, ugly stubbornness of marriage seems totally impossible.
Eloise BlondiauMay 26, 2017
This image released by the Minya governorate media office shows bodies of victims killed when gunmen stormed a bus in Minya, Egypt, Friday, May 26, 2017 (Minya Governorate Media office via AP).
The attack in central Egypt today killed at least 26 people, including children aged 2 to 4, and wounded 25 others.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 26, 2017
The data and facts are clear: If you care about working families and sound economic policy, SNAP is the program for you.
Meghan J. ClarkMay 26, 2017