Attentive to the plight of every young person in any form of need – physical, psycho-social, spiritual - Salesian ministry with migrants extends also to the rapidly increasing number of young persons away from homes in pursuit of academic or professional qualification, and young persons employed in the organized sector.
The Migrants Desk:
As a first-step for Salesian ministry with migrants, “Migrants’ Desks” have been set up in nine cities across India, and more are in the processes of being made operational. Each “Desk”, manned by two or more social work professionals under the supervision of a Salesian, has the following key objectives:
Give migrants the confidence that they have competent persons at hand, who care for them and will assist them.
- Make the Don Bosco institutions in the region places where migrants can come in for any emergency or for urgent services and support.
- Build a network of persons and organizations committed to supporting the rights of migrants and empowering them to access them.
- Motivate, accompany and empower migrants to overcome the constraints and deprivations they face: denial of rights and entitlements, lack of access to state provided services, exclusion from legal rights, banking, protection and social security systems, vulnerability to ethnic, religious, caste, class and gender discrimination, vulnerability to abuse, trafficking and exploitation at the work place and emotional and spiritual crises.
- Promote positive political discourse for “inclusion” of migrants in society and contribute to changing the negative perception and prejudiced portrayal of migrants.
- Advocate with the state and others for the rights of migrants, and for creation of better options at the source areas in order to reduce “forced” migration.
A survey across these nine cities, which tries to understand the situation of migrant workers in three key sectors of work in each city, is currently under way and is expected to be completed by February 2017. It is expected that the survey report will contribute to a deeper understanding and assist in strategizing longer term interventions.