|More than 2000 children working as beggars throughout Macedonian streetsThe problem with street children needs to be solved with global action at every social segments. |
First of all, the key causes for this phenomenon should be concerned and the economic state is the main one.
Reality shows that street children come out of dysfunctional families, poor and uneducated parents-stated Macedonian ombudsman Idjet Memeti (Annual Ombudsman conference for children from South-East Europe that took place in Ohrid this year).
Conference topic is “Protection of children from Economic exploitation” and currently it emphasized that most often the exploited children are from the Roma population. Their presence in number is about 2000 all over Macedonia (FCE Megjashi’s data).
Street children are often exposed to economic, commercial and sexual exploitation, everyday labour abuse as well as to even more dangerous forms such as organ trafficking, drug sales, begging, no health protection in cases of extreme cold or warmth, no education and counselling.
The minister of labour and social policy-Spiro Ristovski emphasized that the government in cooperation with other competent ministries promotes coordinated approach towards appearance of the abuse of children and their labour in order to protect the rights of those children. The ministry itself identified 500 street children, while the youngest one was 1 month old.
At this moment, the ministry of social work and the ministry of interior release mutual actions and conduct field activities due to lessening the number of street children. On the territory of Skopje, 6 children are taken away from the streets and 14 from Kumanovo. Eleven parents are going to be supervised, while 4 are going to have their parental rights removed. For this long process anyway, all institutions will be included.-says minister Ristovski. He also adds that there will be an opening of new daily transit centres for children protection.
Dragi Zmijanac (FCE Megjashi), thinks that those centres are only a partial solution that cannot completely solve the problem.
Unless the government makes any try with the local authorities to include all the children in the education process, there will not be any complete success. In the daily centres, those children stay until 16:00, afterwards they are back on the streets.
Therefore, they need to remain at school and their parents need to get at least one employment. A supervision over parental rights must be done regularly.-says Zmijanac.
The children are not socio-pathological creature of the city, but a consequence of the weakness of social structures.
The representatives of the centres for social work are not making any efforts with field work and that’s why children often become victims of their own parents and system weaknesses.-claim Zmijanac.