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Senegal authorities sweeping child beggars off streets

Senegal authorities sweeping child beggars off streets

Senegal

About 300 children have been registered in this center since the launch of the campaign for the eradication of the phenomenon of child beggars in the streets of Senegalese capital, Darka a month ago.

The crackdown on child begging in the country comes after years of inaction which has been praised by children’s groups but greeted with anger by powerful Islamic figures in the West African nation.

Despite appeal from the authorities to parents, only 70 children have left the streets and returned to their families.

Each day I get humiliated, when I stop in front of people with whom I am familiar with, she says. It is not good. It is because of this that I left the street.

“Each day I get humiliated, when I stop in front of people with whom I am familiar with, she says. It is not good. It is because of this that I left the street. I am ashamed to stop in front of people that I know” said Fatou, a mother of twins.

They are taken to Guinddi children’s Center in the capital accompanied by social workers, where they are interviewed and checked for signs of maltreatment and disease.

“It is in the process of supporting the “marabouts” (parents or Islamic teachers), for the support of the children as well as providing Medical care , foodstuffs that makes the Senegalese children not to return to the streets. If they wish to go to school, they have supports as well” Ms. Ba Social Worker at the center,“said Ms. Ba, a Social Worker at the center.

The authorities say with 270 street kids picked up in the first weeks of July in Dakar,the initiative is a long way from dealing with the 30,000 street children estimated to be begging daily.

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