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BKTF launches a national campaign against the exploitation of children used for begging

2007-05-28

Through this campaign the Albanian coalition BKTF, with the support of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Municipality of Tirana, OSCE, ARSIS, TACT project, ILO-IPEC, World Vision, Save the Children and all BKTF member organizations addresses a direct message of responsibility to both the citizens of and international visitors to Albania.
The campaign raises attention to this form of child exploitation, its causes and its consequences for the children. By informing citizens and visitors that by giving small change or coins to the children begging they encourages the continued exploitation of children, BKTF seeks to address the demand side and reduce the scale of the phenomenon. BKTF calls upon citizens to not discriminate against or maltreat the children who beg, but to treat them with respect and care. Giving coins to children is not a solution. Instead support efforts should be done to assist vulnerable children in Albania in a sustainable way.
Several hundred Albanian children beg in the streets of Albanian cities and abroad. The children who beg or sell wares at street corners are neither orphans nor abandoned by their parents. On the contrary, the majority of the children who beg are encouraged by their own parents.
Child begging is not only a consequence of poverty. Often, it is considered as a lucrative financial solution for the family. The income is so high that for the parents it is more profitable to send their children begging, instead of working themselves. Begging in the streets keeps the children out of school, deprives them of appropriate childhood activities, and affects their health and general welfare. Moreover, begging in the streets hinders children’s development and limits their opportunities and abilities for the future.
Through this campaign BKTF, with the support of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Municipality of Tirana, OSCE, ARSIS, TACT project, ILO-IPEC, World Vision, Save the Children and all BKTF member organizations addresses a direct message of responsibility to both the citizens of and international visitors to Albania.
The campaign raises attention to this form of child exploitation, its causes and its consequences for the children. By informing citizens and visitors that by giving small change or coins to the children begging they encourages the continued exploitation of children, BKTF seeks to address the demand side and reduce the scale of the phenomenon. BKTF calls upon citizens to not discriminate against or maltreat the children who beg, but to treat them with respect and care. Giving coins to children is not a solution. Instead support efforts should be done to assist vulnerable children in Albania in a sustainable way.
BKTF is a coalition of fourteen national and international non-governmental organizations working to assist and protect vulnerable Albanian children. Its activities are framed within the Albanian National Strategy on Combating Child Trafficking and the National Strategy on Children. Based on these Strategies State institutions are coordinating their activities with civil society to fight the phenomenon and provide various services for vulnerable children and offer alternative solutions to their families.
If you would like to support this initiative, please contact BKTF at:
info@bktf-coalition.org or contact BKTF member organizations directly
http://bktf-coalition.org/