The Church and the world community must mobilize to help women and children who are forced to live on the streets, Pope Francis told participants in a September 17 symposium organized by the Pontifical Council for Migrants.
The Pope called attention to “the troubling increase in the number of young girls and women forced to earn a living on the street by selling their own bodies, victims of exploitation by criminal organizations and at times by parents and family members.” He noted that the causes of the painful phenomenon include poverty, violence, human trafficking, martial breakdowns, and out-of-wedlock births.
Regardless of the causes, however, these women and children need help, the Pope insisted. “No child chooses to live on the streets,” he said, “robbed of their childhood, their rights and their future.” And thoes living on the streets are not statistics, he said. “They are human beings, each with his or her own name and face, each with a God-given identity.”