Archbishop Francis Chullikat spoke at the United Nations about Unemployment and Education
The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, Msgr. Francis Assisi Chullikatt, speaking at the Fourth session of the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (17-19 June 2013), defined the exclusion of more than 250 million of children in the world from schooling as «a collective shame for Governments, world leaders and the international community»; it’s from here, from the issue of schooling and the right to education, that projective talk about sustainable development should start. Unemployment and the lack of decent work are the causes of «a great suffering in our time». «Unemployment is a social injustice undermining freedom and stifling human creativity», the Archbishop said. The exploitation of child labor is «a real form of slavery» and «the scourge of our time».
Moreover, 400 million workers in the world are living in extreme poverty, and more than 10 million children are victims of labor exploitation.
«Millions of people are working to manufacture products or as domestic workers, often for the greater well-being, comfort and happiness of affluent men and women in developed countries», Msgr. Chullikatt said in an appeal for international cooperation in making «policies directed towards the goal of providing full and decent work for all». As Vatican Radio reported, the Archbishop denounced the humiliating conditions for human dignity that affect much of the world‘s population and especially children, and this is «a patent violation of the Convention on the rights of the Child», for which «State leaders and private companies are responsible».
«Work is a fundamental right of all human beings; it is the condition which makes establishing the family possible as well as the means by which the family is maintained and supported», Msgr. Chullikatt said, recalling how the UN Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012, emphasized the importance of “intergenerational solidarity” to help «children so that they can become healthy, productive and responsible citizens». «Without education young people lack the knowledge necessary for adulthood, adults lack the skills needed to adapt to changing work environments», the prelate said. And he added: «In educating the youth, the family plays an essential role as the fundamental unit of society». Hence—the Permanent Observer of the Holy See voiced this call at the UN—«it is of the utmost importance, therefore, that policy-makers respect and promote this fundamental role of the family».