Pope Francis defends immigrant rights, denounces 'slave labour'
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis urged countries on Tuesday to welcome and respect migrants and refugees and not treat them as "pawns on the chessboard of humanity".
Pope Francis, who has made the defence of the poor and vulnerable a cornerstone of his papacy, said in a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees that there should be a change in attitude on the part of host countries.
"Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity," he said in the message, which is sent to government and international institutions such as the United Nations.
"They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more."