Prayers for Peacemakers, 15 June 2017
On 12 June, the world commemorates the World Day Against Child Labour.* The focus of this international observance is to raise awareness and strengthen efforts to prevent child labour. According to the data of the International Labour Organization, more than 168 million of children around the world are forced into work that "deprives them of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development."**
The worst forms of child labour include slavery, trafficking, prostitution, work involving serious health, mental and moral hazards, and forced participation in armed conflicts. We might find causes of child labour not only in wars, natural disasters and oppressive regimes but also in the lack of social justice and access to education, health care and community support.
Today, let us pray for the children, especially those at risk of, or exposed to, labour, violence, exploitation. Let us pray that all children around the world may enjoy their childhood, personal development, safety and adequate access to education, health, home and support. Let us pray for all those who work hard in order to make the world a better place for children. Let us pray and contemplate of what we ourselves can do to bring about more just, joyful and loving future for the children of this world and of our communities.
Matthew 18: 1-6
In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" He called a little child to himself, and set him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.