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Peace Education

UPF-Italy Peace Forum Discusses the Suffering of Migrants

Italy-2023-05-29-Italian Peace Forum Examines Migrants’ Misery

Rome, Italy—The fourth Peace Forum of 2023 was titled "The Reasons for Peace at the Trial of Contemporary Migration."

The speaker was Luca Di Sciullo, the president of the study and research center IDOS (Statistical Dossier on Immigration) and a professor of philosophy at the San Pietro Institute in Viterbo associated with the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant' Anselmo in Rome.

Carlo Zonato, the president of UPF-Italy, was the moderator and introduced the speaker.

Professor Di Sciullo began by asking, “What are the reasons for peace? … There is no peace without justice, but we also know that justice alone does not hold up and needs to be thought out, conceived and also practiced together with two other pillars, which are truth and freedom.

“There is no justice if there is also no truth and freedom; there is no freedom if there is no truth and justice, and so on. None of these three stands alone; they must always be taken all together. It is as if truth is kind of the head, freedom is the lungs, and justice is the arms; so they are an organic whole.

“So, in summary, there is no peace without these three. If we want to condense the rights of the person, we can also look at them under these three points of view: truth, justice and freedom. This is the only way to build peace.

“Peace comes from a Latin term, which is pactus. That is, it is a covenant; it is a pact that I make with other human beings; it is a collective covenant in which we agree that we have to realize around us the necessary conditions so that each person can realize his own truth with justice and be free to do so. If there is no such covenant, there is no peace either.

“If these are the reasons for peace, let's see how they hold up or fail to hold up to the test of migration. We are just not there; the reasons for peace put to the test of migration management do not hold up, they are utterly despised, scarred. We live in a paradox that is global now, where the countries of origin are increasingly uninhabitable because of wars or famines; there are environmental disasters; there are persecutions; there are unlivable living conditions.

“However, we also have the destination countries that are inhospitable, increasingly inhospitable. There is a basic paradox: There is the right to migrate, but there is no longer the right to immigrate, that is, you have the right to leave your country, but you don't have the right to land wherever you want because immigration is increasingly prohibited.

“So, migrants oscillate; it is a humanity, let's say, increasingly alienated because it oscillates between an uninhabitable origin and an inhospitable destination. If we summarize, this highlights that we live in an increasingly unlivable world.

“How do we overcome this ideological vision, these mystifications, these wrong, erroneous, deliberately distorted narratives? By encounter. If there is anything anti-ideological, it is the real, tangible, skin-to-skin, almost tactile, person-to-person encounter.

“When you meet an immigrant, a foreigner, face to face, normally 90 percent of prejudices fall all at once. I have known people who proudly proclaimed themselves racist, then in their life happened to meet a foreigner and they reported to me that he was a good person. ‘Maybe everyone else is like that, but not that one, because I met him.’

“The powerful people on duty are so powerful on duty that instead they play the opposite game. They are so aware that when you create places of real, physical, tactile encounters with foreigners this happens, and all their misconceptions fall away at once.”

Link to the full text: https://bit.ly/3PvAnro

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