Children are the most vulnerable and hardest hit among the world’s migrants and require special protection, Pope Francis said.
“Children are the first among those to pay the heavy toll of emigration, almost always caused by violence, poverty, environmental conditions, as well as the negative aspects of globalisation,” he said.
“The unrestrained competition for quick and easy profit brings with it the cultivation of perverse scourges such as child trafficking, the exploitation and abuse of minors and, generally, the depriving of rights intrinsic to childhood as sanctioned by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child,” he said.
The pope made the comments in a message on the theme of ‘Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless’ for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees 2017; the text was released at the Vatican on 13th October.
In his message, the pope called for greater protection and integration of immigrants and refugees who are minors, especially those who are accompanied.
Picture: File image of two young refugees at the Azaz refugee camp near the Bab Al-Salama border crossing between Turkey and Syria in Azaz, Syria. Photo: Thomas Rassloff.