Giv­ing money to beg­gars is not char­ity

The Kurdish Globe - - CULTURE - Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar

Many beg­gars tend to be chil­dren

Beg­ging is be­com­ing an alarming is­sue within Kur­dis­tan, a prob­lem that seems to be dis­re­garded. Some beg out of ne­ces­sity, oth­ers out of habit. The prob­lem is that many of the beg­gars tend to be chil­dren, out in the cold, open­ing their palms for petty cash late in the evening. Some­times they ap­proach you and be­come overly repet­i­tive in their pleas for cash, un­for­tu­nately they are not eas­ily dis­missed. There are some beg­gars who can be­come ag­gres­sive. Re­cently, two young girls ap­proached me as I walked out of a shop in Ainkawa, one of them held my hand and re­fused to let go un­less I gave her cash while the other stood in my way.

Our city needs NGOs that work on ground to quan­tify the ex­tent of

this prob­lem

Chil­dren beg­ging on streets is not just a ques­tion of poverty but poor par­ent­ing, and lack of gov­ern­men­tal rules specif­i­cally tar­get­ing par­ents that al­low their chil­dren to beg. Our city also needs non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions that work on-ground to quan­tify the ex­tent of this prob­lem, and to find ways that can ef­fec­tively put an end to beg­ging, as well as gov­ern­men­tal leg­is­la­tion that tack­les this prob­lem from its root.

They miss out on hav­ing a mean­ing­ful child­hood

There are refugee chil­dren in the city of Er­bil beg­ging and this fur­ther com­pli­cates the prob­lem, and its causes. Refugee chil­dren beg­ging are dif­fer­ent from lo­cals re­sort­ing to this prac­tice. Refugees re­sort to this prac­tice be­cause they are un­able to find fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance or hous­ing while lo­cals might have other rea­sons. It is nec­es­sary to have a sys­tem in place that can dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween the causes of this prac­tice, and that sys­tem must be able to hold par­ents or guardians ac­count­able for not pre­serv­ing the rights of their chil­dren who miss out on hav­ing a mean­ing­ful child­hood.

We need peo­ple to take

re­spon­si­bil­ity too

The so­lu­tion is not sim­ple, and it is un­likely that there is a sin­gle so­lu­tion. It will take time to come up with a co­he­sive sys­tem where the rights of chil­dren are en­shrined and pre­served. How­ever, in or­der for Kur­dis­tan to progress, is­sues such as child beg­gars must not be dis­re­garded be­cause they will only be­come worse this way. In or­der to solve this prob­lem, we need peo­ple to take re­spon­si­bil­ity too. When­ever you give money to child beg­gars, you are com- plicit in fur­ther per­pet­u­at­ing this prac­tice. To put a stop to this prac­tice, peo­ple have to think of the big­ger pic­ture when they see child beg­gars and must start be­liev­ing that giv­ing money does not re­solve this is­sue, but only fur­ther per­pet­u­ates it.

Real char­ity is find­ing the

so­lu­tion to this prob­lem

It is not char­i­ta­ble to give money to chil­dren who beg on the streets. Real char­ity is find­ing the so­lu­tion to this prob­lem. It is en­sur­ing that we in­vest in the fu­ture of th­ese chil­dren, and give them the best start in their life. When­ever you give money, you make their lives worse be­cause you are the rea­son they con­tinue to beg. If peo­ple stop giv­ing, there will be less beg­ging. This is just one of the ways to tackle beg­ging, and it does not need leg­is­la­tion but sim­ply cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion.

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