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Pope warns those who exploit children



(June 12, 2012) 12 June, 2013 - Pope Francis on Wednesday denounced the exploitation of children in domestic work as an “authentic scourge”, sternly warning those who stifle their hope. The Pope’s warning came during his weekly general audience on the World Day Against Child Labour. The United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002, intending that the June 12th observance serve as a catalyst for a growing worldwide movement against child labour. The theme of this year’s observance is “No Child Labour in Domestic Work.” Speaking in Italian towards the end of his general audience, Pope Francis described exploitation of children in domestic work as “a deplorable phenomenon that is constantly growing, especially in poor countries.” “There are millions of children, mostly girls, victims of this hidden form of exploitation that often involves abuse, maltreatment and discrimination,” the Pope said, calling it “a real slavery.” The Holy Father earnestly hoped that the international community will initiate more effective measures in fighting “this authentic scourge.” “All children must be able to play, study, pray and grow, in their families, in a context of harmony, love and serenity,” the Pope said to hearty cheers from the crowd. “This is their right and our duty,” he stressed. Denouncing those who make slaves of children instead of allowing them to play, the Pope said this is a scourge. “A serene childhood allows children to look with confidence towards life and a tomorrow,” the Holy Father said, warning, “Woe to him who stifles the joyful enthusiasm of hope in them!”






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