Migrants, refugees focus of first day of Asia meeting

By ACNS staff
Posted Nov 14, 2011

[ACNS] The hardships faced by migrants and refugees forced to flee poverty and conflict is the focus for the first day of the Anglican Alliance’s Asia consultation which opened Nov. 14 in Hong Kong.

The consultation, hosted jointly by the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (Anglican Communion in Hong Kong) and the Anglican Alliance is the last of the series to draw up the priorities for the initiative to bring together development, relief and advocacy work across the Anglican Communion.

It has been organized jointly with the alliance steering group members in South Asia, Bishop Humphrey Peters of Peshawar in Pakistan, and Khagendra Das of Durgapur in North India, and brings together participants from across Asia and from Africa, Latin America, and the Anglican aid agencies. It is being held in the Mariner’s Club in Hong Kong.

A workshop on migrants and refugees issues on Nov. 14 will be followed by a visit on Nov. 15 to see the church’s programs for migrants workers in Hong Kong. The consultation will decide how to take forward work across the Anglican Communion to support these vulnerable communities.

United Nations figures show there is a total of 191 million migrants and refugees globally, including refugees from conflict in Somalia, and people who migrate to find work, only to be exploited and forced to the margins of society.

The Anglican Church in Korea will lead a discussion on peace and reconciliation, drawing from its inspiring work to bring together communities. There will also be discussion of education and health priorities for the alliance, and how the church and its partner agencies in Asia want to take forward joint working.

Sally Keeble, Anglican Alliance director, said: “This is the final consultation that will enable the church and its partner agencies [to] draw up the work plan for the Anglican Alliance for the coming years. We’re grateful to the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui for hosting it.”