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Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience at St Peter's Square in the Vatican, on May 1. Photo/ file AFP

Kenya

Pope condemns ‘slave labour’ in Bangladesh

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience at St Peter's Square in the Vatican, on May 1. Photo/ AFP

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, on May 1. Photo/ AFP

VATICAN CITY, May 1 – Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned as “slave labour” the work conditions of victims of a factory collapse in Bangladesh in which more than 400 people have been found dead, Vatican radio reported.

“A headline that really struck me on the day of the tragedy in Bangladesh was ‘Living on 38 euros a month’. That is what the people who died were being paid. This is called slave labour,” the pope was quoted as saying at a private mass.

“Today in the world this slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us — the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity. How many brothers and sisters find themselves in this situation!” he said.

“Not paying fairly, not giving a job because you are only looking at balance sheets, only looking at how to make a profit. That goes against God!” he was quoted as saying.

“There are many people who want to work but cannot. When a society is organised in a way that not everyone is given the chance to work, that society is not just,” he said.

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