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children playing in Cape Town, South Africa children playing in Cape Town, South Africa 

African bishops call for the protection of minors

A message issued by the Catholic Bishops of Uganda appeals for the protection of minors against trafficking, labour exploitation and the use of child soldiers.

By Linda Bordoni

Heineous crimes like child trafficking, child labour and the use of child soldiers continue to be perpetrated in many parts of the world, despite laws that condemn them.

That’s why, said Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, we are called to eradicate the causes of these deplorable tragedies and ensure that children are protected in all areas.

The Archbishop of Blantayre, Malawi, was addressing participants at the Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) as it drew to a close in Uganda over the weekend.

Noting that “the protection of minors is an integral part of the Gospel message,” Archbishop Msusa appealed to African bishops “to root out the causes of child trafficking, child labour and the use of child soldiers.”

"The Church in Africa is a family that includes father, mother and children. However, in some contexts, children are subjected to great suffering,” he said.

He listed the evils of child sexual abuse, of children who are snatched from their families and trained to fight, to be sold or to be exploited for work.

“It is a challenge that we Bishops have accepted, promising that we will do our best, as Church in Africa, to ensure that children are well protected in all areas," he reiterated.

Archbishop Msusa, who is Vice President of the East African Bishops’ Conference, concluded noting that “the Gospel recommends loving one's neighbor as oneself,” thus he said, “we have the obligation and the duty to love and defend children from any possible kind of exploitation”.

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29 July 2019, 15:14