Pope Francis recognizes the mass homelessness and the plight of refugees forced from their homes by the brutal wars in Syria, Iraq and beyond. The Pope sees the greatest tragedy in the world’s burgeoning population of child migrants, “invisible and voiceless” children who are at the mercy of human traffickers — children who often end up being sold into prostitution and other forms of forced labor. Many of these defenseless children are separated even from their families as all flee violence and oppression at home. “They have no means to protect themselves,” says the Pope.
Besides violence, Pope Francis cited “poverty, environmental conditions” and other “negative aspects of globalization” as conditions that needed to be addressed and reversed for the good of children. “I ask everyone,” the Pope said, “to help those who are forced to live far from their homeland and are separated from their families.” Many European nations have opened their borders to migrants fleeing oppression, only to find it nearly impossible to offer proper services and care to them. In March, Canada reported that it expected to welcome more than 300,000 migrants in 2016.