Work is “both a gift and a duty,” Pope Francis told a U.N. labor agency in a message calling for an end to human trafficking and for greater concern for migrants and the unemployed, especially the young.
“At the dawn of creation, God made man the steward of his handiwork and charged him to cultivate and protect it,” the Pope said May 28 to the International Labor Conference. “Human labor is part of that creation and continues God’s creative work.” Labor is “not a mere commodity” but has “its own inherent dignity and worth.”
The International Labor Conference is hosting its 103rd session from May 28-June 12 in Geneva. The conference is sponsored by the International Labor Organization, a U.N. agency that aims to promote internationally recognized labor rights, employment opportunities, social protections and dialogue on work-related issues. Pope Francis said that Catholic social teaching supports the organization’s initiatives that promote “the dignity of the human person and the nobility of human labor.” The Pope noted the problem of unemployment, particularly among the young who can easily become “demoralized” and feel “alienated from society.”
Pope Francis also spoke of mass migration as a cause for concern. Migrant workers can be victims of the “globalization of indifference” and risk the “horror” of human trafficking, forced labor and enslavement. “This cannot continue! Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity,” the Pope stressed. “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.” He called for a “concerted effort to encourage governments to facilitate the movement of immigrants for the benefit of all” to help eliminate trafficking. Learn more at the DFWCatholic.org article: Pope Francis praises ‘nobility’ of work.