Pope Francis’ prayer intention for December is an end to child-soldiers. In a video produced by Apostleship of Prayer, the pontiff urges people to join his prayer “that the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.”
Watch the Pope’s prayer video: Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for December: End to Child-Soldiers
The full text of Pope Francis’ narration in the said video is as follows:
“In this world, which has developed the most sophisticated technologies, weapons are sold that end up in the hands of child-soldiers.
We must do everything possible so that the dignity of children may be respected, and end this form of slavery.
Whoever you are, if you are moved as I am, I ask you to join in this prayer intention: That the scandal of child‐soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
While the problem of recruitment of child-soldiers is prevalent mostly in some countries of Africa and the Middle East, there are incidence of it in Asia, including the Philippines. Most countries are signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, which vow to eradicate the practice. In the Philippines, the recruitment of children for use in combat is prohibited under two laws pertaining to child labor and child abuse (Republic Acts 931 and 7610).
According to the group Child Soldiers International, child soldiers are described as children under 18 who are used for military purposes. It cites: “Some child soldiers are used for fighting – they’re forced to take part in wars and conflicts, forced to kill, and commit other acts of violence. Some are forced to act as suicide bombers. Some join ‘voluntarily’, driven by poverty, sense of duty, or circumstance. Other children are used as cooks, porters, messengers, informants, spies or anything their commanders want them to do. Child soldiers are sometimes sexually abused.”
What do you think of this prayer? Share your thoughts in the comments.