Emerging Human Rights: The African Political Economy Context

By George W. Shepherd Jr.; Mark O. C. Anikpo | Go to book overview

systems and national security states which exploit and oppress the poor?

The crisis in Africa is the crisis of the human spirit. As Pope John Paul II stated in his remarks to diplomats accredited to the Vatican: "Efforts have to be made . . . through a policy of justice and peace, to get rid of the cause of such a lamentable reality (refugees and famine), which is not an unavoidable one. May our generation take up the challenge!"20

The voices of the migrants and refugees continue to raise that challenge. They speak to the universal Church and to each of us from that in-between land where "the twilight of past dreams turns gradually into shadows and expectations fade."21 In the immediacy of flight they ask for food, shelter, and sanctuary, but they ask for more than this. They wish to build their lives anew either by returning to their home communities or by forming new ones. In the end, however, they plead for the Church to work with them to transform those situations that force them to leave their homes. They ask us to join them in the search for a "community without borders."


NOTES
1.
UN Office for Emergency Operations in Africa, "Special Report on the Emergency Situation in Africa: Review of 1985 and 1986 Emergency Needs." New York, January 30, 1986.
2.
Noted in The Guardian, Manchester. England. March 13, 1986.
3.
World Bank, Toward Sustained Development in Sub-Saharan Africa ( Washington, D.C.: 1984), pp. 10-14.
4.
See two recent studies: Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues, Famine: A Man-Made Disaster ( London: Pan Books, 1985); and Lloyd Timberlake, Africa in Crisis: The Causes, The Cures of Environmental Bankruptcy ( London: International Institute for Environment and Development, 1985).
5.
For an excellent review of "labor migration" in Africa, see S. Stichter, Migrant Laborers ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
6.
Charles H. Wood, "Equilibrium and Historical-Structural Perspectives on Migration," International Migration Review 16, no. 2 ( 1982), pp. 298-319.
7.
Refugees, no. 1986, pp. 24-25; also see The World Refugee Survey: 1985 in Review, pp. 36-40.
8.
The 1967 Protocol eliminated the clause in the 1951 Convention restricting refugees to individuals "created by events prior to 1951."
9.
Swaziland has signed only the 1967 Protocol.
10.
UNHCR, Handbook, pp. 6, 11, and 40.

-161-

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