Protecting the Dignity of Workers

The Joseph Cardijn Award recognises young people who have stood up for the rights of workers and students, helped people into work, or shown leadership among their peers or colleagues.

The right to work, to have a job, to earn money and so support your family are all connected to the dignity of each individual. Catholic social teaching affirms that human beings are not merely a commodity, a tool as part of a process to make things. Human beings are greater than any thing. They deserve a fair wage and proper working conditions.

Nomination Tips:  

This is a broad area of Catholic social teaching and the award recipient could be employed or unemployed, but is someone who is committed to the value of hard work and respecting the worker. Do you know a young person who truly lives out justice in their workplace or school? A young person who stands up for the rights of others? Maybe you know a young adult who is living out their vocation through their work, or someone who is very active in supporting others live out their vocation. 

One of the 2017 award recipients was Jonathan Wright. Jonathan aged 17 from Thornleigh Salesian College (Diocese of Salford) was nominated for his leadership and dedication regarding young people in Bolton.

Here’s an extract from his nomination: “Jonathan has always strived to uphold the dignity of his fellow students and committed to helping others know that they can make a difference. He is a dedicated campaigner, raising awareness of youth mental health issues as well as building youth involvement in democracy. He helped young people of Bolton realise they can be part of the solution to the challenges of job opportunities and poverty. Humour is key to Jonathan’s work - he even compered an annual charity concert from inside a recycling bin! His teacher says, ‘Jonathan is a real role model in every sense of the word. His leadership has encouraged many others to get involved.’”Nominations are now open.

Check out the other youth awards:

There are seven categories covering a huge variety of areas, and each has its own criteria. These guidance notes and FAQs provide you with more detail about the criteria of each award and provide some hints on what the panelists will be looking for. Every young person nominated will be considered for the Pope Francis Award by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

This resource sheet provides you with a 90 minute youth work session for youth groups or informally in school or college. There is also an Awards Powerpoint, in addition to an accompanying PowerPoint. And check out our FAQs.

Want to know more about our six Catholic social teaching values, then click here.