Racial Justice Sunday 17th February 2019

Dignity for All Workers

17 February marks Racial Justice Sunday, which focuses on the experiences of ethnic communities in England and Wales. It is a day on which we are all called to earnestly pray for an end to racism and racial inequality in our country. The theme this year is Dignity of Work, looking at how all people must not be exploited or face discrimination and hatred in their work.

In a world steeped in violence, conflict, and discrimination, the Gospel demands that we acknowledge the dignity of the human person, the necessity of building peace, prosperity, justice for all. In Octogesima Adveniens and Gaudium et Spes , St Paul VI teaches that “all people have a right to work … to lead a worthy life on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level”. We are therefore called to ensure people are not exploited while they work, and to open our hearts to those who face this hatred. “As you did this to the one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me…”

In our task as disciples of Christ, our responsibility is to make sure people are treated with dignity at work and are not exploited. Migrant communities and those suffering from racial abuse are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into unjust working conditions and labour exploitation.