International Catholic Migration Commission
ICMC was established in order to deal with the massive movement of refugees following the upheavals caused by the Second World War, and also in order to restore to millions of people the hope that they would be able to begin a new life. The initiative was the work of Monsignor Luigi Ligutti and the German Johannes Schauff, who submitted a proposal to Pope Pius XII to set up an international body to coordinate the work performed by Catholics in the field of migration. It was set up with the encouragement and support of Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Paul VI, and from the beginning it coordinated the work of Catholic national groups working with migrants and providing technical assistance to groups and organisations at their request. It is recognised by the Holy See as an International Catholic Organisation and is a member of the Conference of ICOs. As an NGO it has consultative status with Ecosoc, Unicef, ILO, the Council of Europe and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
ICMC provides a service to refugees and all who are displaced within their own country or have to expatriate because of war, natural disasters or poverty, helping and assisting above all the most vulnerable and marginalised of these human groups. Through its work it sets out to save human life; to restore hope to individuals and groups that have been uprooted and have lost everything, helping them to rebuild their lives, and to reunite families after years of separation. In its educational work and defending the cause of migrants and their dignity, at both the national and international levels, ICMC fosters the adoption and implementation of Christian principles in the framing of policies to encourage sustainable solutions to the problems of refugees such as their return home and their social reintegration, or their integration in the countries where they settle. The programmes of the Commission include assisting migrants in emergency situations, assisting and protecting women and girl victims of people trafficking, providing legal assistance, helping children to overcome the trauma of migration and to resume a normal life again, providing vocational training and subsidies to set up businesses, looking after the elderly, providing social services for the disabled, and education in solidarity and tolerance.
The management bodies of ICMC are the Council which has a decision-making role, and comprises representatives appointed by the Bishops’ Conferences of countries particularly affected by migration flows and by the refugee problem, individuals co-opted on account of their particular skills, and honorary members; the Governing Committee, made up of the President of the Commission, and members of the Council elected for four years, which implements the decisions adopted by the Council and appoints the General Secretary who is responsible for the management, publications and contacts with international bodies and authorities and with member associations.
ICMC has 172 full members and affiliated members in 65 countries with operational bases in some 30 countries.
Annual report, published in French, English, and Spanish; Informations, a newsletter.
Commission Internationale Catholique pour les Migrations
37-39, rue de Vermont
Case Postale 96 - 1211 Geneva 20 - Switzerland
Tel. [+41]229191020 - Fax 229191048