In Thailand, Pope condemns exploitation of ladies, kids for intercourse .
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Pope Francis condemned on Thursday the exploitation of ladies and youngsters for prostitution in Thailand, which is infamous for its intercourse tourism, saying the violence, abuse and enslavement they endure are evils that have to be uprooted.
Pope Francis offers blessing to devoted throughout the Holy Mass on the Nationwide Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang
Francis, on the primary full day of his go to to primarily Buddhist Thailand, led a Mass in Bangkok’s Nationwide Stadium for tens of hundreds of exuberant Roman Catholics in a rustic the place they make up lower than one % of the inhabitants.
“For us, it is as if God himself is here,” mentioned Nutaporn Kwanmuang, 27, who attended the Mass, the biggest gathering of Catholics since Pope John Paul II visited in 1984. Tens of hundreds of others watched on screens in an adjoining stadium.
In his homily, Francis talked about the exploitation of ladies and youngsters and the plight of refugees and migrants for the second time in someday.
“Here I think of children and women who are victims of prostitution and human trafficking, humiliated in their essential human dignity,” mentioned the 82-year-old pope, who regarded drained on the finish of a protracted day.
Thailand, which attracts some 35 million vacationers a 12 months, has sought to shed its fame for intercourse tourism. However repeated crackdowns haven’t rid Bangkok and different vacationer hubs of go-go bars and therapeutic massage parlors that always provide intercourse.
There are round 123,530 intercourse employees in Thailand, based on a 2014 UNAIDS report.
Earlier, in his first tackle on Thursday, Francis expressed appreciation for the Thai authorities’s efforts “to extirpate this scourge, and for all those private individuals and organizations working to uproot this evil and to provide ways to restore their (victims’) dignity”.
At each venues, he defended migrants and refugees and condemned human trafficking.
The variety of human trafficking victims rescued in Thailand is about to hit a report excessive this 12 months. Demand for reasonable labor in neighboring Malaysia has precipitated a leap within the unlawful commerce, based on authorities knowledge.
Thailand is house to a few of Asia’s oldest refugee camps.
About 100,000 refugees from Myanmar have been dwelling in 9 camps alongside the border for many years, many for the reason that early 1980s.
Extra just lately, Thailand has been a serious venue for human smugglers and traffickers of tens of hundreds of Muslim Rohingya who’ve fled crackdowns in Myanmar.
In a gesture of inter-religious dialogue, Francis on Thursday morning visited the gilded Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Temple to pay his respects to Thailand’s Supreme Buddhist Patriarch, the 91-year-old Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong.
Thailand’s Catholics quantity round 380,000 in a rustic of greater than 65 million, however the small group has thrived and relations with the Buddhists are usually good.
Francis, who’s accused by ultra-conservative Catholics of being too accommodating to different religions, praised the results he mentioned Buddhism has had on Thais.
“The majority of Thais have drunk deeply from the sources of Buddhism, which have imbued their way of venerating life and their ancestors, and leading a sober lifestyle based on contemplation, detachment, hard work and discipline,” Francis informed the patriarch.
Francis leaves for Japan on Saturday.
(This story fixes verb tense in paragraph 9)
Writing by Philip Pullella and Kay Johnson; enhancing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Gareth Jones