Emmaus International

In early September members of Emmaus travelled to Tarifa to defend Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which outlines freedom of movement and residence for all. Patrick Atohoun, the Chair of Emmaus International, spoke to us about the movement's commitment on the topic of migrations.

"It's unbelievable that people are persecuted because they have left their countries and families behind - after all they have been through they are scorned and marginalised", explained Patrick Atohoun, Chair of Emmaus International. "We will be in Tarifa to show our commitment to Article 13".

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The campaign to have Article 13 fully applied is led by the entire Emmaus movement and is part of our struggle for peace, freedom of movement and residence.

Two videos have been published to raise awareness about the fate of migrants and to denounce inhumane security policies. Now around 50 Emmaus companions/staff members will meet in Tarifa in September.

Patrick continued: "No person should be illegal on our planet. That is why Emmaus has committed to this mobilisation, to tell both the French public and an international audience that these policies must be stopped. People don't migrate for pleasure - these migrants are fleeing situations of conflict, harsh climates and extremely difficult economic conditions. They come here seeking a better life, because we all have the right to a happy life."

In July Emmaus International and 270 other French organisations sent an appeal to the French government to ask them to hold a national conference on migrations. "It's hard to get your head around it - France, the birthplace of human rights, is now leading such a security-based policy on migrations, differentiating between economic migrants and refugees. It just doesn't make sense. Emmaus is here to welcome these people - living together is very important to us at Emmaus. Through our communities and associations across the globe we can see - despite the diversity, despite the different cultures and religions - that we can work together."