The 21st edition of the Annual Report of Centro Astalli, the Jesuit service for refugees in Italy, gives an updated picture of what happened in Italy in 2021 in the area of forced migration.
This year’s presentation took place in a particular climate, that of the war in Ukraine, which the Report does not address directly. This might make it seem to be lagging behind historical events. In reality, if one does not try to understand the recent past of forced migration, one runs the risk of seeing the flight of millions of people around the world as a series of emergencies in their own right – involving different parts of the planet and different populations – and not, instead, as a consequence of an interconnected world, where “a piecemeal world war” is being waged.
What we are experiencing today has distant roots, in a vision of the world that is often neither fraternal nor marked by solidarity, and which challenges the conscience of each one of us. Paul VI’s Message for the VI Day of Peace (1973) well describes a continuity in the building of peace, which refers to the responsibility of all: “We must have the courage of peace. A courage of the highest quality: not the courage of brute force, but the courage of love. Every person is my brother or sister. There can be no peace without a new justice.”