The Dignity of work and Participation
The dignity of work has been a key principle of Catholic social teaching from the very beginning.
In 1891, Pope Leo XIII issued Rerum Novarum (On Capital and Labour). He shone a light on the injustice and exploitation of workers by the rich during the Industrial Revolution. He advocated for workers to join forces and fight against inhuman conditions.
Since then, Church teaching has upheld the dignity of work and participation. The human person should always come before the pursuit of profit. Workers have the right to join trade unions, to a just wage, to spend time with their families and to rest. Work is an essential part of our human dignity and everyone has the right to participate.
At CAFOD we know that earning a living is essential to living with dignity. Anil Roy is a young man living in Bangladesh. He used to be a teacher but when he fell sick, he had to travel to India for treatment and this cost him dearly. With training from our partner Caritas Bangladesh, Anil is now supporting himself through beekeeping. He plans to encourage his neighbours to get involved in similar work. One day, he dreams of having his own big beekeeping farm.