The Catholic Pope wants those who are engaging in the World oldest trade to be respected.
The Pope spoke in the Asia, a region infamous for a thriving sex trade and unchecked human trafficking. The 82-year-old Pope Francis is known for his down-to-earth style, the Pope did not shy away from difficult topics at the mass.
Prostitution is illegal in tourist hotspot Thailand, home to at least 300,000 sex workers, some four percent of whom are believed to be trafficked, according to official estimates.
He focused his message on helping vulnerable children and women “who are victims of prostitution and human trafficking, humiliated in their essential human dignity”.
According to AFP , he also referred to drug addicts, migrants and “exploited sinners and bypassed beggars”.
“All of them are part of our family. They are our mothers, our brothers and sisters. Let us not deprive our communities of seeing their faces, their wounds, their smiles and their lives,” said the Pope, after leading prayers.
Many women are drawn to the work because they can earn up to 10 times more than the minimum wage, and critics say some corrupt Thai authorities turn a blind eye to the thriving trade.
Earlier, the Pope praised Thailand’s efforts to stamp out the “scourge” of exploitation and enslavement of women and children, urging a “dignified” future for vulnerable youth.
Thailand has not had a visit from a pontiff since John Paul II in 1984, and the small but spirited Catholic community was thrilled ahead of the mass.
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