Pope Francis on Sunday expressed sorrow over migrants who have died trying to reach Europe in search of a better life, saying they should not be “instrumentalized.”
“I think of those who died crossing the English Channel, those on the borders of Belarus, many of whom are children, and those who drown in the Mediterranean,” said the pope during his Sunday Angelus prayer.
“There is so much sorrow when thinking about them,” he added.
“I renew my heartfelt appeal to those who can contribute to the resolution of these problems, especially civil and military authorities, so that understanding and dialogue may finally prevail over any kind of instrumentalization,” said the pontiff.
Pope Francis spoke after 27 people drowned in the Channel on Wednesday trying to reach Britain.
In Belarus, a migrant crisis has seen thousands of people, mostly Kurds from Iraq, stuck on the border as they try to enter EU member Poland.
The EU has accused Belarus strongman President Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the crisis in retaliation for EU sanctions against the ex-Soviet state, charges that Minsk has denied.
Meanwhile, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has earlier this month issued a special statement warning of “truly alarming allegations” that companies in Vietnam were recruiting girls as domestic workers and lying about their ages to hide the fact they were children.
“We are seeing traffickers targeting Vietnamese women and girls living in poverty, many of whom are already vulnerable and marginalised,” the UN said in the statement quoted by Radio Free Asia. “Traffickers operate with impunity.”
The statement came in the wake of reports of trafficking of workers from Vietnam to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. – with Wires report