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Pope Francis' visit to Lampedusa: EU's treatment of migrants signifies a dawning "globalization of indifference"

August 04, 2013
tags:#EU, #Europe, #Giusi Nicolini, #Italy, #Lampedusa, #migrants, #Pope Francis, #refugees
by:Sara Jabril
"We have become used to the suffering of others. It doesn't affect us. It doesn't interest us. It's not our business." - Pope Francis

It has been more than six months since fairplanet last reported on the suffering of migrants who risk their lives in an attempt to reach Europe by boat. With the Italian island of Lampedusa being one of the main points of entry for African migrants, the island's mayor released a bold and critical open letter to the EU early this year. In her letter, Giusi Nicolini accused the Union of indifference and silence, which should be reason for Europe to feel "ashamed and dishonoured".

In early July, Lampedusa and the treatment of migrants made headlines once again as Pope Francis paid visit to the island in his first visit outside of Rome. As the Guardian reports, Pope Francis was moved by reports of North African migrants who lost their lives after they embarked on a quest for better living conditions.

During his visit to Italy's most southern part, the Pope held a mass and commemorated the dead. Additionally, he offered words of praise to the people of Lampedusa, who had "offered an example of solidarity" by taking in the African migrants. At the same time, however, the Pope warned of a shift towards a "globalization of indifference", and  asked for pardon "for those, whose decisions at a global level have created the conditions which have led us to this drama".

Who has cried for these people who lost their lives on a boat? For the young mothers who traveled with their children? For those men, who are looking for means to support their families? We are society that has forgotten the experience of shedding tears, of suffering amid the globalization of indifference.

Thus far, there has been no official response or change in policy by the European Union in regard to the ever increasing death toll of migrants seeking a better life on Europe's shores.

Article written by:
sara jabril
Sara Jabril