Salford welcomes international working group on Community Sponsorship of Refugees

Caritas Diocese of Salford hosted an important gathering of the International Catholic Migration Commission SHARE project partners to explore the potential of Community Sponsorship as a new, safe and legal pathway to bring refugees to sanctuary in host countries and help their integration through local community support.

Between the 16 and 17 May 2018, at the Cathedral Centre, Salford, Caritas welcomed delegates from many European countries and international organizations to build upon the private sponsorship experiences in Europe (Belgium, France, Italy and the UK) and explore how to inspire local communities who aim to set up similar programmes across Europe.

Caritas Salford was the first organisation to bring a refugee family into the UK under the new scheme and since then 53 families in 10 sponsorship groups have been resettled.  At the conference, Caritas and the parishoners of St. Michael and St. Bernadette’s, Whitefield worked with Home Office officials, the Strategic Local Authority lead for refugees (Northwest England), Consorzio Communitas (Italy), the Order of Malta, Secour Catholique + Caritas France (SCCF),  Citizens UK and the University of Notre Dame USA.

The International Catholic Migration Commission project is working to bring together a wide range of relevant stakeholders from national, regional and local government, international organisations, civil society, think tanks, academia and the refugee diaspora to develop and support the legal pathways and resettlement processes.  The new project will work with the private and public sectors together to advocate with governments and civil society to promote resettlement particularly in smaller towns and will also publish a guide to good practice.

To find out more about the refugee Community Sponsorship work of the Catholic Church in England and Wales please contact the National Coordinator Sean Ryan at s.ryan@caritassalford.org.uk