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Marginalized workers meet in Rome, under initiative supported by Pope Francis

2014-10-28

They represent the marginalized, outsiders and the poor. They include the unemployed, farmers, people who live in slums and in the outskirts of society. 

They all traveled to Rome to take part in an initiative promoted by Pope Francis. It's titled the World Meeting of Popular Movements. 

ESTEBAN CASTRO 
Secretary General of the CTEP (Argentina) 
"It's the first time social movements come together to discuss these issues with the Pope. We're talking about workers who have no rights.” 

NOHRA PADILLA HERRERA 
National Recyclers Association (Colombia) 
"We talked about the root cause of poverty, marginalization, social injustice and exclusion.” 

Among them are those who live off of selling recyclable items found in the trash. Sometimes their daily meal is based on whatever they find in the bins. 

In Latin America, many of these unofficial temporary workers were encouraged by priests and bishops to organize themselves. Among them was then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. 

SERGIO SANCHEZ 
Federation of  Recyclers' (Argentina) 
"As a Bishop, he would help out the poorest neighborhoods, so he understood the reality of how people lived there. He would always say that we needed to teach the youth to stand up and take action.” 

The two day gathering will end on Wednesday. On the last day of the conference, they will vote on which initiatives have been raised and which ones they should pursue. 

ESTEBAN CASTRO 
Secretary General of the CTEP (Argentina)
"We're hoping to have a deeper discussion on this topic. In the long run, we'd like to start international organizations that are supported by the Church and that defend worker's rights."

SERGIO SANCHEZ 
Federation of Recyclers (Argentina) 
"By just being here, we believe we're sending a message. A message where we tell people that you have to fight for your rights. If you don't pursue your rights, they won't come out of the blue.” 


One of the key documents that inspired the debate is the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation,  Evangelii Gaudium, where the Pope denounces the causes of extreme poverty. 


JRB/KLH
MG 
JM
-PR 
up: KLH 
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