Pope Francis has described the plight of child migrants travelling to the United States as an humanitarian emergency and called for urgent measures to help them, reports The Tablet.
In a letter read at a meeting on migration in Mexico City this week, the Pope said that social and economic development in Central America and Mexico was the long-term priority in stemming the flow of migrants.
'Every day the numbers increase and such a humanitarian emergency demands in the first place urgent measures to protect and welcome these children,' said the Pope.
'However, these measures are not enough if they are not accompanied by a policy of informing people about the dangers of the trip and above all of promoting the development of the countries from which the children originate.'
The Pope’s message came as figures newly released by the US Government showed that 57,000 children have tried to cross the border between Mexico and the US in the last nine months. They endure long journeys in terrible conditions and are prey to ruthless trafficking gangs, often arriving in the United States hungry and penniless.
'They travel to escape poverty and violence,' said the Pope in his message, which was read by the Papal Nuncio to Mexico, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. 'They seek a better life which for the most part is in vain.'