Pope Benedict XVI says immigrant children must be fully integrated into their new societies and protected from the risks of exploitation.
Benedict made the appeal in a message published Friday to mark the church's World Day for Migrants and Refugees, which is celebrated Jan. 17.
The pontiff says the number of migrant children seeking political asylum is on the rise, requiring coordinated action by governments to ensure they are protected from exploitation and welcomed.
He says young immigrants must be educated and given the opportunity to enter into the work force of their new home countries.
He didn't mention any country by name, but Italy and the rest of Europe have been struggling with how to fully integrate immigrants into society.