Pope Francis described migrants and refugees as the world’s “weakest and most needy” on Monday. Using his New Year address to “give voice” to people, he has urged leaders to do more to help.

Francis reminded some 40,000 people who gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican that he had chosen migrants and refugees as the theme for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace.

Across the world, mass movement of people has shot to the top of the political agenda, and Francis has made defending those who migrate a central theme of his papacy.

During a trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017, he met Muslim refugees and urged decisive measures to solve the political problems that caused many to flee.

He has also criticised US President Donald Trump’s stated intention to build a wall on the border with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States.

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