45. These two steps were rapidly put into effect following the Meeting. As a result, during the months of August and September, the departures from countries of temporary asylum exceeded the arrivals by some 10,000, and a proportional net decline was registered in the population of refugee camps. The UNHCR is trying to maintain the level reached in September of 25,000 departures per month in an effort to utilize over a 12-month period the total reserve of 273,500 resettlement offers for the one-year period extending from July 1979 to June 1980. It is clear, however, that, even with such a rate of resettlement, and assuming a stabilization and hopefully a decrease in the number of arrivals, the elimination of the backlog wold take more than two years. The continuation and further development of present policies aiming at channelling all departures from Viet Nam directly to receiving countries, the maintenance of a very high level of resettlement offers and the availability of processing centres, which would improve the living conditions of the refugees and alleviate the burden of first asylum countries, are therefore of vital importance.
15. Over the last months there has been a marked increase in the rate of arrivals. This has particularly affected Malaysia, Hong Kong and, recently, Indonesia. A total of 26,600 boat people arrived in the area in April 1979, 51,150 in May 1979 and 56,950 in June 1979. These figures would, of course, be higher if asylum had been granted to all who sought it. Faced with the increase, however, certain of the countries most directly affected have refused permission to land and have expelled many thousands of boat people to the high seas.
Illiteracy statistics give an important indication of the education level of the adult population. Today, illiteracy is a different issue than in earlier years. The more recent focus on illiteracy has centered on functional literacy, which addresses the issue of whether a person's educational level is sufficient to function in a modern society. The earlier surveys of illiteracy examined a very fundamental level of reading and writing. The percent of illiteracy, according to earlier measurement methods, was less than 1 percent of persons 14 years old and over in 1979.
Because the Courts have eliminated statutory racial discrimination and Congress has enacted civil rights legislation, and because some minority people have achieved some measure of success, many people believe that racism is no longer a problem in American life. The continuing existence of racism becomes apparent, however, when we look beneath the surface of our national life: as, for example, in the case of unemployment figures. In the second quarter of 1979, 4.9% of white Americans were unemployed; but for blacks the figure was 11.6%; for Hispanics, 8.3%; and for Native Americans on reservations, as high as 40%. The situation is even more disturbing when one realizes that 35% of black youth, 19.1% of Hispanic youth, and an estimated 60% of Native American youth are unemployed.(9) Quite simply, this means that an alarming proportion of tomorrow's adults are cut off from gainful employment-an essential prerequisite of responsible adulthood. These same youths presently suffer the crippling effects of a segregated educational system which in many cases fails to enlighten the mind and free the spirit, which too often inculcates a conviction of inferiority and which frequently graduates persons who are ill prepared and inadequately trained. In addition, racism raises its ugly head in the violence that frequently surrounds attempts to achieve racial balance in education and housing.With respect to family life, we recognize that decades of denied access to opportunities have been for minority families a crushing burden. Racial discrimination has only exacerbated the harmful relationship between poverty and family instability.Racism is only too apparent in housing patterns in our major cities and suburbs. Witness the deterioration of inner cities and the segregation of many suburban areas by means of unjust practices of social steering and blockbusting. Witness also the high proportion of Hispanics, blacks, and Indians on welfare and the fact that the median income of nonwhite families is only 63% of the average white family income. Moreover, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, not decreasing.(10)Racism is apparent when we note that the population is our prisons consists disproportionately of minorities; that violent crime is the daily companion of a life of poverty and deprivation; and that the victims of such crimes are also disproportionately nonwhite and poor. Racism is also apparent in the attitudes and behavior of some law enforcement officials and in the unequal availability of legal assistance.Finally, racism is sometimes apparent in the growing sentiment that too much is being given to racial minorities by way of affirmative action programs or allocations to redress long-standing imbalances in minority representation and government-funded programs for the disadvantaged. At times, protestations claiming that all persons should be treated equally reflect the desire to maintain a status quo that favors one race and social group at the expense of the poor and the nonwhite.Racism obscures the evils of the past and denies the burdens that history has placed upon the shoulders of our black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian brothers and sisters. An honest look at the past makes plain the need for restitution wherever possible - makes evident the justice of restoration and redistribution.
The church must be constantly attentive to the Lord's voice as He calls on His people daily not to harden their hearts.(23) We urge that on all levels the Catholic Church in the United States examine it's conscience regarding attitudes and behavior towards blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians. We urge consideration of the evil of racism as it exists in the local Church and reflection upon the means of combating it. We urge scrupulous attention at every level to insure that minority representation goes beyond mere tokenism and involves authentic sharing in responsibility and decision making.We encourage Catholics to join hands with members of other religious groups in the spirit of ecumenism to achieve the common objectives of justice and peace. During the struggle for legal recognition of racial justice, an important chapter in American history was written as religious groups, Jewish, Protestants, and Catholic, joined in support of civil rights movement which found much of it's initiative and inspiration within the black Protestant Churches. This cooperation should continue to serve as a model for our times.All too often in the very places where blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians are numerous, the Church's officials and representatives, both clerical and lay, are predominantly white. Efforts to achieve racial balance in government, the media, the armed services, and other crucial areas of secular life should not only be supported but surpassed in the institutions and the programs of the Catholic Church.Particular care should be taken to foster vocations among minority groups.(24) Training for the priesthood, the permanent diaconate, and religious life should not entail an abandonment of culture and traditions or a loss of racial identity but should seek ways in which such culture and traditions might contribute to that training. Special attention is required whenever it is necessary to correct racist attitudes or behaviors among seminary staff and seminarians. Seminary education ought to include an awareness of the history and the contributions of minorities as well as an appreciation of the enrichment of the liturgical expression, especially at the local parish level, which can be found in their respective cultures.We affirm the teachings of Vatican II on the liturgy by noting that \"the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed.\" (25) The Church must \"respect and foster the spiritual . . . gifts of the various races and peoples\" (26) and encourage the incorporation of these gifts into the liturgy.We see the value of fostering greater diversity of racial and minority group representation in the hierarchy. Furthermore, we call for the adoption of an effective affirmative action program in every diocese and religious institution.We strongly urge that special attention be directed to the plight of undocumented workers and that every effort be made to remove the fear and prejudice of which they are victims.We ask in particular that Catholic institutions such as schools, universities, social service agencies, and hospitals, where members of racial minorities are often employed in large numbers, review their policies to see that they faithfully conform to the Church's teaching on justice for workers and respect for their rights. We recommend that investment portfolios be examined in order to determine whether racist institutions and policies are inadvertently being supported; and that, wherever possible, the capital of religious groups be made available for new forms of alternative investment, such as cooperatives, land trusts, and housing for the poor. We further recommend that Catholic institutions avoid the services of agencies and industries which refuse to take affirmative action to achieve equal opportunity and that the Church itself always be a model as an equal opportunity employer.We recommend that leadership training programs be established on the local level in order to encourage effective leadership among racial minorities on all levels of the Church, local as well as national.In particular, we recommend the active spiritual and financial support of associations and institutions organized by Catholic blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians within the Church for the promotion of ministry to and by their respective c