Migrants are ‘victims of political rivalries’, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis has warned that behind every statistic on migration is the face of a brother or sister that needs to be protected.

In a message to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the UN International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the pope described the treatment of thousands of migrants around the world today as "deplorable".

He said that migrants are treated as “merchandise”, “pawns on the chessboard”, and “victims of political rivalries”.

Pope Francis said: “How can suffering and despair be exploited to advance or defend political agendas?

“How can political considerations prevail when the dignity of the human person is at stake?

“The fundamental lack of human respect across national borders diminishes us all in our 'humanity”.

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