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86% of rehabilitated child beggars return to street — report

By Maria Weldali - Apr 02,2024 - Last updated at Apr 02,2024

AMMAN — A recent campaign has revealed that nearly 86 per cent of children begging on the streets of Jordan return to vagrancy, despite multiple interventions from rehabilitation programs.

This campaign, initiated by Save the Children Jordan and the Justice Centre for Legal Aid, aims to raise awareness about child begging. This issue is not only one of the most prevalent forms of child exploitation but also among the most dangerous forms of child labour. Despite numerous efforts to combat this problem, significant challenges and obstacles remain in eradicating child begging in Jordan.

The campaign gives an insight into the harsh realities faced by children involved in begging, defines the phenomenon of child begging and sheds light on the associated risk factors.

Nadine Nimri, advocacy, media and communications manager at Save the Children Jordan, recently told The Jordan Times on Saturday that children involved in begging are at a higher risk of abuse and exploitation. “The campaign is grounded in scientific research, including three studies that have shown that the current approach to dealing with child beggars is ineffective, adding that these children often return to the same environment after completing their rehabilitation programmes.”

Nimri also emphasised that addressing this issue requires direct engagement with the children and their families, as well as the implementation of aftercare programmes.

“The campaign will run for five weeks on various social media platforms, disseminating 25 key messages and videos to the public,” Nimri added.

She also noted that “85 per cent of child beggars do not retain their earnings, but instead hand over the money to a family member, noting that 71 per cent of these children do not attend school”.

This campaign is part of a broader two-year programme, funded by the European Union, called “Off the Streets - Promoting the Rights of Children in Street Situations”. The programme aims to analyse the legal and institutional framework for children living on the streets.

The campaign uses "powerful" slogans such as “Children have the right to live their childhood… and we must protect them” and “Do not let your sympathy be used to exploit them” to drive its message.

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