June 12, 2020

Minister of Gender Children and Social Protection Mrs. Cynthia Mamle Morrison has expressed worry of a practice where children who beg on the street are taken away but they re-appear on the streets of the capital.

According to her, her Ministry is collaborating with the Office of the National Security to engage with more stakeholders to develop and implement a more sustainable strategy to permanently address the issue.

“Mr. Speaker with adequate funding, we would ensure that every citizen has improved access to quality social services and livelihood activities to reflect both national and international obligations such as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goal 1, 2 and 5”.

The Minister underscored the need to strengthen the social welfare programme that provides preventive and responsive child protection services as the current government continues to place emphasis on the implementation of strategies and programmes to reduce poverty and vulnerability.

And added that a caring society does not tolerate marginalization and exclusion of poor and vulnerable groups which include begging on the streets.

The Minister who was responding to the Member of Parliament for Afigaya Sekyere East, Mavis Nkansah-Boadu’s question on measures being taken by the Ministry together with National Security to get child beggars off the streets also told the House the issue has become a National Security issue as some of the begging children aid persons with disability, to solicit for funds on the street and the influx of foreigners from neighboring countries who use their children in begging.

The Minister noted that in other to address the issue, in 2017 the Ministry initiated a programme called “operation get off the street now for a better life”.

As the programme seeks to withdraw children from the streets reintegrate them with their families, and those of school going age sent back to school, while those who need to learn vocational trade were taken through skills training.

“Children beggars and other streets person were taken away from the National theatre, through 37 Military hospital, Opeibea, airport to the Ghana Standard Authority areas, as the children were sent social welfare centers in Madina”.

The Minister further noted that since she took over at the Ministry, she has been part of operations to rescue children from the street at Kwame Nkrumah Circle to Kaneshie with the support of the AMA taskforce as most of the children rescued are Nigerians.

“They have since been sent to the Nigerien Embassy and repatriated to their homeland same year. In December around the Marina Mall at Opeibea child beggars were rescued, over four thousand eight hundred and nine on the street of Accra. Twenty-one of them Nigerians have been repatriated to their home country”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com