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A conference sponsored by Caritas Internationalis on “The Female Face of Migration” brought together in Senegal 100 migration experts from more than 50 countries from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. “Women and girls are a vital part of the solution towards alleviating and eradicating poverty,” said Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary general of Caritas. She argued that migration done properly could “contribute to greater gender equality and to the empowerment of women.” Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, president of Caritas Africa, said, “It would become a source of hope and development if human mobility were acknowledged and countries of origin could benefit from it.” The Caritas members urged a greater church presence on borders to improve monitoring of migration and encouraged the church to use its vast reach to speak about the difficulties of migration and promote policies that prioritize protection of families in countries of origin, transit and destination.

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