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Archbishop Reminds Africa Of The Need To Protect Minors Against Child Trafficking, Child Labor, Child Soldiers
By Chioma Okwu

Child trafficking, child labor and the issue of child soldier continue to persist in many parts of the world, despite laws against it. It has gradually blended into societal norms.

 Archbishop of Blantayre, Malawi, Msg. Thomas Luke Msusa reminded us that the protection of minors is a major part of what the Gospel preached about. He made this statement while addressing the African Bishops during the meeting, which has recently concluded, with SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar), (see Fides, 22/7/2019).

"The protection of minors is an integral part of the Gospel message hence there is a need to create a safe environment for them, giving priority to their interests", said the archbishop.

Msusa, who is the Vice-Chairman of Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), has exhorted African bishops to root out for causes of child trafficking, child labor and children soldier to ensure that children are well protected in all aspects.

"Africa as a Church is a family which comprises of a father, mother, and children. In some situations, Africa has not taken care of her children. It may not be the issue of sexual abuse of minors only but, when you look at Africa there is the challenge of Children who are being trained as child soldiers, who are being trained to fight; there is the issue of child trafficking where children are taken out of their families to be sold somewhere; there is also the issue of child labor", explains the Archbishop. "It is a challenge that we have accepted and promised that we are going to do our best as a Church in Africa to ensure that the children are well protected in all aspects", he stressed.

"The Gospel recommends us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, children are equally our neighbors so we are obliged to love them and to defend them against any possible exploitation". (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 29/7/2019)

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