Brussels, 7 October 2019 – These people sleep in dormitories with up to 20 others without knowing when they will be set free again. After witnessing the distress of the people in the closed centre and referring to fishing quota, bishop Jean Kockerols remarked quite correctly that “migrants are not cod!”
Migrant lives are human lives
The bishops showed a talent for visiting in the detention centres, as well as sincere interest in the residents. Bishop Jean Kockerols even cheered up a Nigerian lady by blessing her in her native tongue. After the visit, bishop Lode Aerts told us he thinks “we can learn from refugees.” Just as important as their interest in migrants was the bishops’ understanding of the efforts made by the centre’s staff to make the best out of the circumstances.
We can learn from refugees
The attention brought by the Church to the issue of migrant detention shows residents they have not been forgotten. It shows them that Belgian people, even some with an important voice in the public debate, continue to advocate for their rights.
“”e can learn from refugees”