Child Rights International, an NGO, has emphasized the need for a multi-disciplinary approach by the government to address the issue of child beggars on the streets.
The organization believes the government ought to consider several factors including control mechanisms, social welfare, and protecting the rights of children in dealing with the menace.
The call comes on the back of the advice by the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection to the public to desist from giving cash to child beggars.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu at a press conference appealed to the public, especially residents of cities to restrain from giving cash to children engaging in begging, sometimes under dangerous circumstances on the streets.
“We have done a lot to take them from the streets, but somehow they find themselves back, we even repatriated 400 of them and engaged the embassies here, but they find ways to come back, so we have to stop giving money to minors on the streets because as adults I don’t see why we should be giving monies to six-year-olds on the streets,” Ms. Abudu said.
She said the government did not have the resources to repatriate the child beggars presently on the streets but would encourage the public to shun them and desist from giving them cash to help force them out of the streets.
“If you don’t give them today and I don’t give them tomorrow, next week they will be forced to leave the streets and move away,” the minister added.
But in an interview with Citi News, the Executive Director for Child Rights International, Bright Appiah added that there must be a policy to make begging on the streets uncomfortable.
“There are other factors that are more dominant than even the resources that people give. If we are able to do that then it will add to the call that this government has made in respect to people not giving monies to beggars on the street.
“The major issue that we have to deal with has to do with making the environment uncomfortable for people to think that they can be on the street to beg.”.