Vatican City (AsiaNews)
- At a time of economic crisis, when "Unemployment is tragically expanding
the frontiers of poverty," and a large number of people are forced to emigrate,
placing themselves at risk of human trafficking, we must "reinforce existing
forms of cooperation, [. . .] establish new avenues for expanding solidarity,"
and promote "the dignity of the human person," says the pope in a message to Guy
Ryder, director general of International Labour Organization (ILO), on the
occasion of its 103rd session.
"At the dawn of
creation," the pontiff writes, "God made man the steward of his handiwork and
charged him to cultivate and protect it. Human labour is part of that creation
and continues God's creative work.
leads us to consider work as both a gift and a duty. Indeed, labour is not a
mere commodity but has its own inherent dignity and worth. The Holy See
expresses its appreciation of the ILO's contribution to upholding the dignity
of human work in the context of social and economic development through
discussion and cooperation between governments, labourers and employers. Such
efforts serve the common good of the human family and promote the dignity of
has been convened at a crucial moment of social and economic history, one which
presents challenges for the entire world. Unemployment is tragically expanding
the frontiers of poverty (cf. Address to
the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, 25 May 2013). This is
particularly disheartening for unemployed young people who can all too easily
become demoralized, losing their sense of worth, feeling alienated from
society. In working for greater opportunities for employment, we affirm the
conviction that it is only "through free, creative, participatory and mutually
supportive work that human beings express and enhance the dignity of their
life" (Evangelii Gaudium, 192).
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. Despite their hopes for a better future, they frequently
encounter mistrust and exclusion, to say nothing of experiencing tragedies and
disasters. Having made such sacrifices, these men and women often fail to find
dignified work and fall victim to a certain 'globalization of indifference'.
exposes them to further dangers such as the horror of human trafficking, forced
labour and enslavement. It is unacceptable that, in our world, slave labour has
become common coin (cf. Message for World
Day of Migrants and Refugees, 24 September 2013). This cannot continue!
Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity. It is
time to join forces and work together to free its victims and to eradicate this
crime that affects all of us, from individual families to the worldwide
community (cf. Address to the New
Ambassadors Accredited to the Holy See, 12 December 2013).
"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 labour 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. Effective cooperation in
these areas will be greatly assisted by defining future sustainable development
"As I recently
expressed to the Secretary General and Chief Executives of the United Nations:
"Future sustainable development goals must therefore be formulated and carried
out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the
structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in
protecting the environment, ensure decent work for all, and provide appropriate
protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human
and social development."
The message ends
saying that "the social teaching of the Catholic Church supports the
initiatives of the ILO which aim to promote the dignity of the human person and
the nobility of human labour. I encourage you in your efforts to face the
challenges of today's world in fidelity to these lofty goals."