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Migration and Development

Leaving one’s country and living in decent conditions is a human right, irrespective of nationality, religion, gender or any other status. With its projects, Caritas helps to ensure that migration is self-determined, respectful of human dignity and safe.


Not since records began have so many people migrated within their own country or across borders as now. At the end of 2015, more than 60 million people were fleeing from conflicts and persecution alone. Whether people flee from violence or want to escape poverty – they are all searching for security and better living conditions. Or, in the words of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights of migrants (2015): ‘They all see migration as the only way out of dire straits’.

On their journey, but also at their destination, migrants are exposed to particular dangers: They risk death by drowning at sea, detention in appalling conditions, physical abuse, exploitation as cheap labour, becoming impoverished or considered stateless if they cannot prove their nationality. The protection of human rights for migrants has yet made little progress.  

Caritas is committed to working for the rights of all migrants, irrespective of their status, and for safe and regular migration for all:

  • It combats human trafficking, for example by raising awareness among parents, communities and public interest groups, promoting the development of reporting systems, or integrating particularly vulnerable people better in the labour market. At the same time, Caritas supports victims in their reintegration in society.
  • Caritas promotes decent living and working conditions for migrants. It helps displaced people to access education, work and housing opportunities and facilitates networking. Caritas promotes their empowerment so migrants can defend their rights and overcome social exclusion.
  • Caritas is committed to exploring ways of how remittances sent by migrants to their home countries can help to reduce poverty in the respective countries.

The actions of Caritas are based on the belief that self-determined migration that respects human dignity contributes significantly to social and economic development and is a source of human and cultural enrichment.


Selected Migration Projects


Further information

  • Flyer : Migration & Development
    File format: pdf / 316 KB
    The right to leave one’s country or place of origin and seek security and decent living conditions elsewhere represents a fundamental human right. We strive to realise this right for all, free from discrimination. We actively prevent human trafficking, promote decent living and working conditions, and explore ways of putting remittances to work for sustainable development, while also offering opportunities to remain at home. Download
  • Excerpt : Migration & Development
    File format: pdf / 295 KB
    The number of people ‘on the move’ within their countries and across borders has reached a peak in recorded history. The plight of people who are forced to flee their homes due to armed conflict, persecution, or generalised violence is currently receiving most media attention with respect to the ‘Syria crisis’ and the refugees’ arrival in Europe in great numbers. Indeed, almost 14 million people were newly displaced as a result of conflict or persecution in 2014 alone (UNHCR 2015: 2 – 3). Faced with this current influx of refugees, there is a tendency to treat migration as a problem requiring stronger controls. Download

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