SHAFAQNA- Pope Francis urged world leaders to respect the humanity of migrants. Francis dedicated nearly all of his Sunday message to the defence of migrants, telling several thousand people in St. Peter’s Square that he felt pain over recent tragedies. “Let us think of how many migrants are exposed in these very days to very grave dangers and how many lose their lives on our borders,” he said.
“I feel pain when I hear news of the situation in which so many find themselves, those who died in the Channel, those at the border of Belarus, many of whom are children, those who drown in the Mediterranean,” he said, according to Reuters. In his video message on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Pope also says migrants across the world are treated as “merchandise”, “pawns on the chessboard”, and as being “victims of political rivalries”.
In his message, Pope Francis urged a change of perspective of the migration phenomenon, noting that “it is not only a story of migrants but of inequalities, despair, environmental degradation, climate change; but also of dreams, courage, study abroad, family reunification, new opportunities, security, and hard but dignified work”.
“The debate on migration is not really about migrants,” the Pope explains. “It is rather about all of us, about the past, the present, and the future of our societies. We should not be surprised by the number of migrants, but meet them all as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their unique personal and family situations. This response requires a lot of human sensitivity, justice, and fraternity”.
Migrants, the Pope goes on to remark, “make visible the bond that unites the entire human family, the richness of cultures and the resource for developing the exchanges and trade networks that make up the diaspora communities.” Hence the call on the international community to “urgently address the conditions that give rise to irregular migration, thus making migration a conscious choice rather than a desperate necessity”, Vatican News reported.