It is one of the worst forms of child labour, it keeps children out of school, it separates them from family and it exposes them to hazardous living conditions. According to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and section 87 (1-2) of the Childs Act, 1998 (Act 560) Child Begging is child abuse and prohibited by law.
What if in addition many of the children begging in the street in Ghana have been traffickedonly to work in the begging industry.
As a result of ECOWAS protocols, which allows the free movement of people and goods among countries in the sub-region, we do not only have children from Ghana but also within the sub region such as Niger, Mali, Chad and The Sudan. These children come in different faces, ages, complexion, sexes; some twins and triplets flooding the streets of most capital cities like Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.
The frequent flooding of these streets with these children is quite alarming and gives a very gloomy situation in Ghana. Unfortunately, the phenomenon of child begging is as a result of child trafficking which is against the will of these vulnerable children and a clear violation of Section 87(1-2) of the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), which prohibits exploitative child labour and defines such labour as one that deprives the child of its health, education or development, the parents of these children sit idly watching their children put their lives in danger.
Child trafficking has become a civilized lucrative business for scrupulous child traffickers, business men and women who do not have the heart of children and the nation at heart.
In seeking a holistic approach to deal with this complex situation which requires a long procedure with concerted efforts from all and sundry. This campaign places children at the center and seeking collaborative efforts and coherent force with the media, the government of Ghana, the European Union and other child focused advocates to eradicate child beggars on the streets. OAfrica will work closely with the Department of Social Welfare with a strong anticipation that the road map for dealing with children on the street which had been submitted to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and awaiting validation will soon be approved and hopefully a policy on street children. While working with the government agencies and strategic allies like you, we wished to launch a National Press conference to officially launch the initiative Kids our future.
If you give money to child beggars the money goes to their “masters” and does not serve the children. It only makes the industry bigger, more attractive and more lucrative for traffickers.
If you don’t give money then it helps to prevent additional children been recruited
Please don’t give to child beggars, you are powering child abuse.
The beggar children do not have their rights respected: they are not protected, sent to school or allowed to live with their families.
Citizen’s indifference to beggars is allowing this immoral trade to thrive. Ghana has viable laws to get these children of the street but the public is not reporting so the police are not acting.
The three “R”s:
· React: using children to beg is child abuse. Don’t ignore it.
· Record: take a photo or make a note of the location.
· Report:to the nearest policeman.
See below for reporting procedure:
Reporting Procedures on Children Working on the Street
DDOVSU, AMA, TRAFFIC POLICE (MTTU) and DSW
When you see a child of school going age on the street selling or begging alms
1. First of all you need evidence of the child in action
2. Report at the police station juvenile desk in person
3. Provide all necessary information to the police officer for investigation to cost arrest if necessary
4. -You can also follow up on the case at the police station, time to time for progress.
Base on your location you can choice to report at the district police station or the Sub-District office near you.
The text below is extracted from the 2018 Situational Analysis Report
“When children go wrong they are corrected, and this forms part of the training and upbringing of the Ghanaian child in school and at home. With regards to the corrective methods used in school, as indicated in figure 5.3, a little over 80% of the children reported that the corrective method used is the cane. Other corrective methods mentioned include extra duties (7.34%), counselling (5.87%), physical drills (3.52%), Suspension/expulsion (2.04%), scolding (0.76%) and denial of food (0.02%).
Figure 5.31: Corrective method used in school
The Ghana Education Service has taken a number of actions aimed at abolishing corporal punishment in schools. This has been initiated in the Child Friendly Safe-School programming (DOC, 2016). The Head Teachers hand book has been revised and teachers are being made aware of likely prosecution where children are abused (UNICEF, 2013). UNICEF and other stakeholders of the educational sector such as MoGCSP, DOVVSU, CHRAJ and civil society groups such as Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) and the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) are also working for enforcement of the code of conduct for teachers which cautions teachers on the use of corporal punishment. The new GES guideline requires that the cane be not used in schools and doing so is at the teacher’s own risk of being reprimanded. A manual on positive forms of discipline has been developed to assist teachers (UNICEF, 2016).
Source: Fieldwork, April-October 2018.
Interactions with teachers in some schools in the districts, however, indicate that all schools in Ghana have codes of conduct for pupils and students which prescribe corrective measures when children misbehave. Incidentally, in spite of the steps taken by the GES to prohibit corporal punishment in schools, it was observed that some schools still use the cane. Other corrective methods reported by teachers during interactions include; weeding of the school compound, physical drills such as pulling of ears, kneeling down and carrying of weights, suspension, writing lines of sentences and dismissal from school depending on the severity of the case. It was gathered that there are strict rules in suspending or expelling a child from school. In most instances, before a child is suspended or dismissed from school, the parents of the child are informed in writing stating the misdeed of the child.”