Rome – From 16th to 20th January 2012 it was planned in Manila the fourth intercontinental study visit of Immigration Statistical Dossier Caritas/Migrantes, dedicated to the theme “Asia-Italy: migration scenarios”. The previous editions were held in several European countries (Romania, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and France) and then, in Latin America (Argentina, 2009) and Africa (Cape Verde, 2010).
Central and regional editors, led by Msgr. Enrico Feroci, director of Caritas of Rome and member of the Presidential Committee of the Dossier, will be joined by a group of immigrants representing several Asian communities, of which one have been granted the attendance by Money Gram Italy. There will be in Manila, on behalf of the migrant counsellors Group of the City of Rome, the elected representative for the Asian continent. Likewise there will be a representative of the headquarters of the National Confederation for the Craft Sector and Small and Medium Enterprise of Italy (CNA) and its patronage, interested in promoting business opportunities among immigrants. A reporter of the Sir Agency, promoted by the Italian Federation of Catholic Journal with the support of the national Bishops’ Conference, will follow the work on-site.
The Scalabrini Migration Center in Manila, which has played an active role in planning the initiative, will address a number of speeches, including the one on the global view on Asia migration at continental level, edited by Father Graziano Battistella, and it will support the involvement of different local authorities. The Italian Embassy will also send a representative.
The conference has structured the activity in almost thirty reports, and it has the aim to deepen the understanding of Asian migration, paying particular attention to the Philippines and other large communities (China, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), analysing the historical aspects of their settlement, the current situation and the future scenario.
Different issues will be addressed from a general point of view: on the fundamentals of Asian economy, on the role assigned to Asia in the Italian foreign policy, on the new flows of Italian emigration towards the continent; and from the religious point, on the contribution of the great missionaries from the fifteenth century and the treatment of Catholics in Muslim-majority countries, particularly in the Middle East. Another aspect of fundamental importance is the theme of immigrants’ remittances that, while finding a major outlet in Asia, require an intervention for a more functional use of them to support the local development. This initiative study, which will initiate its activities immediately after the World Day of Migration as a fruitful enforcement of it, is based on the assumption that a better understanding of Asian migrants is essential prerequisite for any actions, at level of Italian-Asian relations, to be taken in Italy for a better classification not only of the economical objectives but also of the social-cultural and religious ones.
In future scenarios of international mobility, reflecting the strong flows increase, the Philippines and other Asian countries continue to be an area of emigration. Yet Italy is still a country of immigration and, according to experts, China itself will become a major centre of immigration. The fourth intercontinental study visit, that the Dossier Caritas/Migrantes once again will advance to the European Fund for the integration for the publication of the proceedings, will help to prepare for these possibilities. (COMMITTEE IMMIGRATION STATISTICAL DOSSIER CARITAS/MIGRANTES)