At the conclusion of his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis commemorated the World Day Against Child Labor, an initiative of the International Labor Organization that brings attention to the plight of exploited child laborers.
The Holy Father called child labor a “disgusting phenomenon that is constantly increasing, particularly in poor countries.”
“There are millions of children, mostly baby girls, who are victims of this hidden form of exploitation that often leads to abuse, ill-treatment and discrimination,” the Holy Father said.
Pope Francis concluded his appeal by calling on the international community to bring about more effective measures to combat child labor. The 76 year old Pontiff also stated that all children have the right to pray, study, pray and grow in their families.
“It is their right and our duty,” the Pope stressed. “A serene childhood allows children to look towards life and the future with confidence. Woe unto those who suffocate their joyous momentum of hope!”