As we celebrate the 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on Sunday, 15 January 2017, it is important that we come together to remember and pray for the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence.
Children are the most vulnerable and hardest hit among the world’s migrants and require special protection, Pope Francis said. The Pope made these comments in a message on the theme of ‘Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless’ for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees 2017.
In his message, the Pope called for greater protection and integration of immigrants and refugees who are minors, especially those who are unaccompanied. ‘Minors are especially fragile, vulnerable and often invisible and voiceless – unable to claim or unaware of their rights and needs,’ he said.
In particular, they have ‘the right to a healthy and secure family environment, where a child can grow under the guidance and example of a father and a mother,’ the Pope said. ‘Children, furthermore, have the right to recreation,’ he added. ‘In a word, they have the right to be children.’
Please join with Pope Francis and the Council for Immigrants of the Irish Bishops’ Conference in drawing attention to the refugee crisis, in particular the plight of minor migrants.