Pope Francis Appeals for End to Child Labor

Calls on International Community to Protect the Tens of Thousands Exploited

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 960 hits

Pope Francis launched an appeal today against child labor, calling on the international community to extend social protection to minors.

At the end of today’s General Audience, the Holy Father noted that tomorrow, June 12, is World Day Against Child Labor, and made a plea for the “tens of thousands of children who are forced to work in degrading conditions, exposed to forms of slavery and exploitation, as well as abuse, mistreatment and discrimination.”

Telling the faithful to “listen well," he reminded them: “Tens of thousands of children!” are victims of child labor exploitation.

Child labor, a pervasive problem worldwide, especially plagues developing countries, such as Africa and Asia, which are said to account for roughly 90% of child employment.

The 77-year-old Pontiff expressed his hope that the international community would “extend social protection for minors in order to weaken this scourge,” and called on Christians to “renew our commitment, in particular in families, to guarantee to every boy and girl the protection for his or her dignity and the possibility of healthy growth. A serene childhood enables us to look trustfully upon life and to the future.” (D.C.L.)