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Pope Francis laments unemployment, decries human trafficking

Catholic World News - May 28, 2014

In a message to the head of the International Labour Organization, Pope Francis described the present time as a “crucial moment of social and economic history” and lamented unemployment, which is “tragically expanding the frontiers of poverty.”

“Another grave and related issue confronting our world is that of mass migration: the sheer numbers of men and women forced to seek work away from their homelands is a cause for concern,” the Pope continued. “Despite their hopes for a better future, they frequently encounter mistrust and exclusion, to say nothing of experiencing tragedies and disasters … Their situation exposes them to further dangers such as the horror of human trafficking, forced labor and enslavement. It is unacceptable that, in our world, slave labor has become common coin. This cannot continue! Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity.”

Pope Francis added:

It is also time to reinforce existing forms of cooperation and to establish new avenues for expanding solidarity. This calls for a renewed insistence on the dignity of every person; a more determined implementation of international labor standards; planning for a focused development on the human person as its central actor and primary beneficiary; a re-evaluation of the responsibilities of international corporations in the countries where they operate, including the areas of profit and investment management; and a concerted effort to encourage governments to facilitate the movement of migrants for the benefit of all, thus eliminating human trafficking and perilous travel conditions.

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  • Posted by: Kansas Girl - Jun. 02, 2014 2:35 PM ET USA

    I believe that the Pope and many other high-ranking Church officials place way too much faith in the state as the solution to economic problems. Often the state is the problem, and the solution actually lies in capitalist ventures, often denigrated by Pope Francis and the bishops as being immoral, to create jobs and produce wealth.

  • Posted by: unum - May. 29, 2014 12:16 PM ET USA

    The Holy Father's "general" comments on complex issues are causing great confusion among those in government and the economy who earnestly want to know what the Church teaches. The Church and the state have specific roles in governance and economic matters that cannot be addresses by general statements. Cardinal Dolan's Wall Street Journal attempted to clear some confusion created by the Pope, but the good Cardinal should have used the Acton Institute to provide clear guidance on economics.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 28, 2014 7:47 PM ET USA

    The pope might like to know that most Catholic schools do not provide salaries at the same scale as their public counterparts and benefits as the clergy - ILO standards not withstanding. "...Facilitate the movement of migrants..." seems to be helping those who want to leave their country. Don't most countries do that now (they don't look at the people leaving, just the people entering)?

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - May. 28, 2014 11:37 AM ET USA

    The Vatican talks often lately about immigration, and much of what it says is true. But the pope and other prelates seem to avoid totally the nexus of the problem in their own backyard, Europe. There we see a massive invasion of workers from Mohammedan countries and the consequent introduction into Europe of a culture not only fundamentally different but totally hostile to its own. As long as Rome continues to ignore this reality, Europe will ignore Rome's exhortations concerning immigrants.

  • Posted by: loumiamo7154 - May. 28, 2014 9:30 AM ET USA

    Sadly, Pope Francis seems not to understand, as most Catholic prelates do not understand, that government is the reason for high unemployment, and the 'reforms' he suggests will only make things worse, as implementing those 'reforms' will take more money out of the private sector and shift it to worthless bureaucrats. And yes, I know, that 'worthless bureaucrat' is redundant.

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