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Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.» The noble principles enshrined in the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights are trampled underfoot on a daily basis in many countries. As a result,we have lost count of the number of people who flee their countries of origin without documentation and are forced to live in different parts of the world in terrible conditions.
This work gives a voice to those people and to all those who have provided them with shelter and support in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. These accounts were collected by the Emmaus International association, which was founded by Abbé Pierre, and they paint a striking picture of the conditions experienced by migrants. The right to come and go is all too often out of bounds for those who are excluded. This fundamental freedom is also often undermined by the relationships of domination and segregation that exist between poor and rich countries.
Far from resigning itself in the face of these distressing situations and inequalities, the Emmaus groups located in 36 different countries make their case in this book for a change of direction - working together to defend freedom of movement for people worldwide. Their conviction is rooted in a fundamental experience: that of providing unconditional shelter and support to people in distress. In overcoming cultural differences and baseless prejudices, the rewarding human experiences gained from this open attitude to migrants is a scathing rejection of the policies of States which refuse to see role played on by migration in globalisation and whose only response is to erect new barriers.The words recounting the lives of migrants taken in by these Emmaus groups are in stark contrast to the ineffectual regulations, expensive coercive measures and thousands of deaths. It is possible and indeed vital to move away from repressive approaches and policies and instead see migrants as an opportunity and hope for building a world that is fit to live in and sustainable for all.
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