International Catholic Migration Commission
Solomon Mebrahtu (ICMC Eritrea) helping a community define vulnerable people in their village and (inset) cleaning out the
water tank at the office compound.
Activity Report 3
Serving Vulnerable Migrants 4
Promoting Refugee Return 5
Supporting Local Integration 6
Working with the Internally Displaced 7
Resettlement as a Tool of Protection 8
Providing Training and Technical Support 8
Message from the President 10
Message from the Secretary General 10
Financial Report 11
Editors John and Bridget Newbury
Designer Paul Coyle
ICMC Governing Committee
Prof. Stefano Zamagni (Italy)
H.E. Bishop Rodrigo Escobar Aristizabal (Colombia)
Ms. Joyce Chang Sau Han (Hong Kong)
Rev. Fr.Abraham-Roch Okoko-Esseau (Republic of Congo)
Mr. Mark Franken (USA)
H.E.Archbishop François Gayot (Haïti)
H.E. Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini Imeri (Guatemala)
Rev. Fr. Ivan Joseph (India)
Rev. Fr. Pascalis Mokheti (Lesotho)
Rev. Fr. John Murphy (Australia)
Msgr. Dr. Peter Prassel (Germany)
Rev. Fr. Philippe Schillings (Belgium)
Representatives of the Holy See
H.E.Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao, President
Rev. Fr. Michael Blume, Under-Secretary
Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and
Itinerant People (Vatican City)
Rev. Fr. Giovanni Graziano Tassello (Switzerland)
Sr. Cornelia Bührle (Germany)
Sr. Maryanne Loughry (England)
Director,Administration & Finance
Mr. Daniel Johnston
Director of Operations
Mr. Dale Buscher
In 2000 ICMC assisted 37,093 extremely vulnerable individuals and their family
members in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
By Dale Buscher
Director of Operations
In 2000, as in every year, the needs of forced
migrants around the world far exceeded
ICMC’s resources. In spite of this, we
accomplished much and served and assisted tens of
thousands of individuals.
The ICMC staff has worked tirelessly and
demonstrated a level of dedication both rare and
remarkable. I commend my colleagues for their
achievements, and for the quality and care of the
programming and services they provide.
ICMC enabled Mrs Duran and over 100 others return to their heavily
destroyed village of Medjedja in the Republika Srbska. Mrs Duran told
ICMC’s Liaison Officer,Amira Lekic, she was at peace because she was
back home – even if ‘home’ had been physically reduced to a roofless and
burned out apartment building!
During the year, ICMC assisted more than 180,000
refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees,
Officially, this is an ‘Internally displaced person’.To ICMC, she is an
individual child in need.
The refugee, internally displaced, and migrant
participants and beneficiaries of our programs were
and remain our teachers and our guides. It is a
privilege and an honor for us to work alongside
these individuals. It is their dignity, their struggle,
their pride in themselves, and their resilience that
continue to inspire us and our work.
We concentrated our work on the most vulnerable
–female heads of
children and atrisk
plus women and
In 2000 ICMC disbursed US$6,500,000 in micro-loans and small business loans to
low-income individuals and returning refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo
Because of their unique needs and
individual circumstances, these
people often don’t benefit from
large scale, mass distribution
and general service programs.
We assisted the most
vulnerable forced migrants,
one at a time, person-byperson,
and family by
family. Our efforts provided
urgently needed services
and promoted longer-term
We helped people in a variety
to return home one by one
to access specialized services that
address their unique needs
to begin their own small
to resettle in a safe third
In addition, ICMC
protection, trained, served
and worked with and
alongside the marginalized
among forcibly uprooted
populations.As we did this,
we also recognized the
strengths, skills, wealth of
experience, and dignity of the
people we served.
Again and again, one by one,
time after time, these unique people
showed us what it is to be human.
Serving Vulnerable Migrants
During 2000, ICMC noted the increasing needs
of, and lack of services for vulnerable migrant
populations.As a response, ICMC gave these
populations more attention throughout the year.
The ICMC protection, shelter and social services
program for sexually trafficked women and girls
in Albania expanded during the year and has been
noted as a “best practice” in victim protection.
Intense international media attention on this
program, plus ICMC’s participation in the
Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe’s Steering
Group on Counter-Trafficking, have highlighted
both the program’s achievements, as well as the
immense need. ICMC has so far rescued nearly
150 women from forced prostitution; many more
victims of kidnapping and trafficking remain on
the streets of Europe’s cities.
ICMC provided technical assistance,
training and financial support to partner
organizations who assist migrants and migrant
workers in Lebanon, Mexico, Costa Rica,
In the Philippines, ICMC supported a project
to organize migrant workers that included
the development of a savings program for
overseas workers’ remittances.
In Geneva, ICMC continued to serve on the
Steering Committee for the ratification of the
Convention on the rights of migrant workers
and their families.We have also been involved in
advocating for just asylum and immigration
policies in the European Union.
In 2000 ICMC established new regional liaison offices in
South Asia,Africa, and the Middle East/North Africa
Promoting Refugee Return
ICMC offered a variety of services to assist with
ethnic minority returns to homes of origin,
and to promote community stabilization so
that such returns were sustainable.
Zekija Pezo lost all of her family during the war. She has returned alone to
her ICMC reconstructed apartment in Rogatica.
family income, and to expand employment
Prior to the war in Croatia, Nedeljko Glamoclija owned a thriving sawmill.
He and his family were forced to leave everything behind and flee to Serbia
for sanctuary. On their return, nothing remained of the sawmill. ICMC
awarded Mr. Glamoclija an in-kind grant of equipment that enabled him to
get his sawmill turning again.Today, Nedeljko Glamoclija employs his son
and three other returnees in a once more busy enterprise.
In the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and
Croatia, we also assisted refugees and internally
displaced persons who wished to return, with
matters related to documentation, legal assistance,
housing and property ownership issues, and direct
In Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, ICMC
business grants to re-start 224 war-damaged
477 apprenticeship training placements
tolerance building workshops
community infrastructure repair, and
emergency housing repair
Furthermore, we disbursed micro- and small
business loans in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo to
help re-start small businesses, to generate needed
The Radojcici village road is being repaired by ICMC Bosnia in partnership
with municipal officials in preparation for the return of village families.
In 2000 ICMC assisted 800 refugees in Zimbabwe through small business loans, educational and
vocational training programs, language classes, pre-school education, women’s clubs and sports groups
In Setimo, Eritrea, the eternal struggle is
to get enough water to survive. Here,
women collect water from an occasional
delivery by tanker. Usually the water must
be fetched from a distance of several
In Kosovo, we
in over 100 rural,
helped returnees to
move forward with
their lives and, when
necessary, to seek
ICMC provided transport for returnees to the village of Medjedja in the
In East Timor, we provided normalization activities
to hundreds of returning children during their stay
in reception centers.
In Thailand, we funded a partner organization to
assist urban female migrants return to their home
provinces and engage in income generation
activities so that they could remain on their land.
Internally displaced children mix with those of the host community in
In Eritrea, ICMC, through a community
mobilization process, began work with four
communities.We help these peoples meet their
identified infrastructure needs in order to sustain
the returning populations who had been displaced
by the recent Eritrean–Ethiopian conflict.
Supporting Local Integration
ICMC supported local integration as a
viable durable solution, when possible. Such
funding four businesses in the Tongorara
refugee settlement in Zimbabwe
employment placement and housing
assistance with asylum seekers in Albania
the establishment of inter-ethnic, multipurpose
community centers in refugeeimpacted
communities in Macedonia
Small projects funded by ICMC with local
partners included those that provided land,
seeds, and tools to integrate 2,000 refugees
in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC), and assisted with housing, food and
care for 200 refugee orphans from the
Great Lakes region, also in DRC.
In 2000 ICMC protected, sheltered and provided social and medical services
to 140 trafficked women and girls in Albania
Working with the Internally Displaced
One thousand internally displaced people from Waai,Ambon Island, shelter in a warehouse in Ambon city.
In addition to working with previously-forced
migrants who returned home, ICMC was
active in situations of new displacement.
In Indonesia, ICMC trained 14 local human rights
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work
with, program for, and monitor the protection of
persons displaced by the conflicts in Maluku,Aceh,
poverty and violence in the troubled northern
districts of the country.
In Bosnia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
ICMC continued to provide emergency assistance
and urgent services to the most vulnerable persons
displaced from their home communities.
We also provided emergency assistance, including
relocation, to more than 4,800 individuals
and families who had fled the conflict in
In the Philippines, through a local partner, ICMC
supported emergency assistance to those displaced
by the conflict in Mindanao.
In Albania, ICMC established a community center,
renovated a kindergarten and began community
empowerment training courses for a community of
25,000 internal migrants displaced from the
In 2000 ICMC returned 2,753 refugees and displaced persons to their
pre-war homes in Bosnia and Croatia
Resettlement as a Tool of Protection
During 2000, ICMC continued to promote
resettlement–mainly to the United States
of America–as a durable solution for
refugees in need.
ICMC’s programs in this area include processing
refugees for resettlement in Croatia, Greece,
Turkey, Cyprus, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, and
Pakistan, as well as through member organizations
in Austria, Germany and Italy.
Over 15,000 refugees were able to begin new lives
in safe countries as a result of the resettlement
processing programs of the ICMC Secretariat and
its member organizations.
ICMC’s work in this regard included the
resettlement of women-at-risk, with a particular
focus on educated and politically active Afghan
women, who cannot return to Afghanistan.
In addition, ICMC facilitated cultural orientation
training sessions for refugees who have been
accepted for third country resettlement.
These courses prepare refugees for life in their
Cultural orientation classes are run for various groups of people. In this
women’s group, specific issues are addressed such as changing roles,
childcare, women in the workplace, domestic violence and laws protecting
new country, and assist in their successful
The ICMC-managed Refugee Data Center
(RDC) in New York City continued to serve as
focal point, communications hub, and the virtual
entrance for all refugees arriving in the United
States.The RDC processed 60,000 newly-arrived
refugees during 2000.
Providing Training and Technical Support
During the year under review, ICMC provided technical support
and training to its members and partner organizations in Benin,
Guinea, Morocco, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
Zimbabwe, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia,
Russia,Yugoslavia, East Timor, Indonesia,Thailand, Jordan and
A workshop in trauma education.
ICMC’s support and training courses enabled our members
and partners to develop programs for refugees, internally
displaced populations, and migrants.The training also gave an
understanding of refugee and internally displaced populations,
refugee protection, and tolerance and trauma education
In 2000 ICMC facilitated 128 trauma education and recovery workshops
in Kosovo for 2,576 refugee returnees
ICMC’s advocacy efforts during 2000 focused on:
family reunification for resettled refugees
development of just asylum procedures
use of repatriation only when it is voluntary,
safe, and dignified
resettlement needs for
The primary places for ICMC’s advocacy
The United Nations High Commissioner for
The UN Commission on Human Rights
The Global Campaign for the Ratification of
the Convention on the rights of migrant
workers and their families
The European Union
The United States government
ICMC is a member of:
International Council of Voluntary Agencies
InterAction (in the USA)
Refugee Council USA
European Council for Refugees and Exiles
Steering Committee for the Ratification
of the Convention on the rights of migrant
workers and their families
Conference of NGOs in Consultative
Relationship with the United Nations
Dale Buscher, ICMC Director of Operations with refugee returnee children in Kosovo.
In 2000 ICMC implemented a “Safe Passages” program for 4,800 people fleeing
Ambon, Maluku that included relocation and emergency assistance
Message from the President
The Jubilee Year 2000 was a great year
for the Catholic Church, and for
ICMC in particular.
The most important single Jubilee event
for us was the Jubilee for Migrants and
Itinerant People on 2 June, when over
100,000 refugees, migrants, and pilgrims
from around the world gathered in St.
Peter’s Square.The Holy Father reminded us,“For the Catholic
Church, no one is a stranger, no one is excluded, no one is distant.”
John Paul II further exhorted us to consider that “Unfortunately, we
still encounter in the world a closed-minded attitude and even one
of rejection, due to unjustified fears and concern for one’s own
interests alone.These forms of discrimination are incompatible with
belonging to Christ and to the Church.”
Another major event in 2000 was the beatification by the Holy
Father of two outstanding figures whose lives were linked, in one
way or another, with the cause of migrants.
They were John XXIII, the Pope of the encyclical, Pacem in Terris
(on peace among all nations); and Archbishop Tommaso Reggio of
Genoa, who was among the first to create in his diocese, at the end of
the 19th century, an organization somewhat similar in spirit to ICMC.
The Holy Father closed the Jubilee Year with an exhortation to
think about “…the many families of our time who are in difficult
situations. Some of them suffer from extreme poverty; others are
forced to seek in foreign countries what they unfortunately lack in
their homeland.” It is precisely these forced migrant families that
preoccupy the members of the International Catholic Migration
Commission, its Secretariat and field staff.
It is an important theme of our advocacy efforts and our fieldwork
to pay particular attention to the family. Migrant worker families,
who are split up because of practical problems, as well as by the law,
need special efforts to guarantee their right to live together.
During the Jubilee for Refugees and Migrants, the people present in
Rome created a Jubilee Charter of Rights of Displaced People.The
Charter does not pretend to be exhaustive, but presents to the world
the most important challenges that have to be faced for the
protection and well being of those many millions of people forced
to live outside their homeland or usual place of residence.
ICMC faces enormous challenges.The refugee and migrant
question today is very complex–much more complex than in the
past.A sense of frustration seems to pervade many of those who
dedicate their energies and efforts to the uprooted.This is
understandable but cannot be justified, especially for Christians and
other people of goodwill. ICMC is ready and proud to engage with
today’s realities and to work for and with refugees and migrants so
that they can have safe and happy lives.
Professor Stefano Zamagni is an internationally recognized economist with a
particular concern for migration issues. He is Professor of Economics at the
University of Bologna, Italy, and visiting professor at other universities in Italy
and the USA.
Message from the Secretary General
This annual report reflects ICMC’s
dedication to the principle of assisting
refugees and forced migrants, one by
one, family by family.
This principle is at the core of our work
with the most vulnerable people among
refugees, internally displaced persons,
trafficked women, and poor migrant
Our programs assist people to return to their homes, or resettle in
another country when return is not feasible, and to rebuild their lives.
We put a particular emphasis on women, children and the elderly. In
tragic and incomprehensible circumstances, these are the most
vulnerable family members.
ICMC’s membership is made up of people and organizations in 82
countries.Through this network, we gather accurate information about
the situation of refugees and uprooted persons. Our members work
at the national and local level, but the needs continue to outstrip our
collective capacity to help.
Why do we have such suffering, and what are we called to do about it?
One thing we can do, as this report shows, is to intervene at the level
of immediate need and help people restart their lives. In addition, it is
vital that we examine the causes of forced migration, work for its
prevention and seek to promote dignified and fair treatment for
forced migrants. So, in 2000 we took an active part in the preparatory
process for the World Conference against Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to be held in
South Africa in 2001.
In June 1950, Pope Pius XII directed Monsignor Giovanni Battista
Montini (the future Pope Paul VI) to invite key Catholics working in
migration to come together and create an international migration
agency. On September 14, 1950, representatives from the Holy See,
Germany, the United States, Italy, and Switzerland gathered in Rome to
discuss the creation of an international Catholic agency to help
refugees and migrants.As a result, ICMC began in the following year.
We shall celebrate ICMC’s 50th anniversary in 2001 with special
events in various places, including New York City, into whose harbor
millions of immigrants and refugees have arrived full of hope for
a new life.
The Council will hold its annual meeting in New York.We shall have a
celebration dinner in the city, and organize a seminar at the United
Nations headquarters to highlight, amongst other things, the positive
aspects of migration.
We will use all these opportunities to highlight the great needs of our
fellow human beings and to promote ways that can mitigate the pain
caused to individuals and families who are forced to move.
I wish to thank all those people and institutions that trust us to care
for traumatized and uprooted people; who are often the victims of
war or other violence.
In its 50th year, ICMC will rededicate itself to its mission, and ask
those who have been fortunate in gathering material wealth to help us
to do more.We will create a fund to guarantee we can assist refugees
and other forced migrants, one by one, family by family, for the next 50
years.This is the least we can do for our suffering sisters and brothers.
The financial statements of the ICMC for the year 2000 were audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.The
statements were prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standards.
Income and Expenditure
Income 2000 1999
Administration 1,714,000 8% 1,716,000 8%
Programs/Projects 18,838,000 92% 18,569,000 92%
Total 20,552,000 20,285,000
Administration 2,354,000 11% 1,741,000 9%
Programs/Projects 18,933,000 89% 18,726,000 91%
Total 21,287,000 20,467,000
(Deficit) (735,000) (182,000)
During the year 2000, USD 21,287,000 was expended by ICMC
under the following major categories
Resettlement 7,499,000 35%
Return and Reintegration 8,166,000 38%
Humanitarian Assistance to Displaced 2,545,000 12%
Technical Assistance and Support 723,000 4%
Administration 2,354,000 11%
Total 21,287,000 100%
Source of Funding for ICMC
Activity administered and overseen by the
General Secretariat is funded by
contributions from goverment and
intergovernmental humanitarian and
development agencies, specialized agencies of
the United Nations system, private and NGO
partners and ICMC's reserves. In 2000
income totaled US$ 20,552,000.
(Dept. Of State) 12,064,000 59%
UN Agencies 4,934,000
European Commission 714,000
Department for International
Development (DFID) – UK 66,000
Canadian Embassy, Croatia 7,000 30%
for Migration 162,000
Caritas Germany 1,000
Cordaid Netherlands 277,000
Caritas Australia 53,000
Caritas New Zealand 28,000
Caritas Norway/Sweden 3,000
Catholic Relief Services 110,000 3%
Joyce Foundation 13,000
& Peace 88,000
Mercy Corps International 6,000
Call on an Angel Inc. 116,000
Other private donors 6,000
Administration Income 1,714,000 8%
ICMC funded) 20,552,000 100%
International Catholic Migration Commission
In Afghanistan, the Taliban abducted
Subhan A. Subhan’s wife, Farida,
searched the prisons for him without
success. Fearful for her own safety, she
fled to Pakistan with her son.Two
years later, Farida thought her
husband was dead and applied
through ICMC for resettlement in the
U.S.A. Her application was approved
and Farida moved to a local shelter to
await her departure.While she was
there, a young man called at the ICMC
office. He introduced himself as
Farida’s husband. In tears, the man told
a story of pain and torture. ICMC
staff quickly fetched Farida and her
son.They had no idea what awaited
them. Subhan was taken to meet them
in the garden. Farida stared at Subhan
as though at a ghostly apparition.
When she realized her husband was
alive, Farida broke down and sobbed.
Subhan rushed to embrace her and
tears of disbelief and joy poured out.
For the first time in nearly three years
both parents embraced the young boy,
who did not recognize his father.
Through ICMC, the family has now
begun a new life in the United States.
International Catholic Migration Commission
37–39 rue de Vermont
PO Box 96
1211 Geneva 20
Phone: +41 22 919 10 20
Fax: +41 22 919 10 48