Traf­fic lights

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Mudaf­far Ab­dul­lah —Trans­lated by Kuwait Times

Child beg­ging goes against the rep­u­ta­tion of our coun­try, and this prac­tice can­not be jus­ti­fied un­der any cir­cum­stances. The state’s so­cial aid and char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions lend help­ing hands to needy fam­i­lies, and if dis­crim­i­na­tion is in­volved in giv­ing the aid, then this is­sue must be ex­posed and fixed be­cause be­ing silent about such a dis­grace­ful thing is a big mis­take that will cre­ate a prob­lem on the so­cial and se­cu­rity lev­els. Kuwait is a ‘Hu­man­i­tar­ian Cen­ter’, yet we can see chil­dren beg­ging at traf­fic lights and in res­i­den­tial ar­eas; some­times sell­ing cheap and light goods till mid­night.

This is a ques­tion to all min­is­ters of so­cial af­fairs and in­te­rior, present and past, as well as chil­dren and hu­man rights so­ci­eties. Who are these chil­dren? Who pro­vides them with these goods? How is this nor­mal in our coun­try? We prob­a­bly buy their goods out of pity. Even po­lice pa­trols pass by them as if this is nor­mal. It looks like of­fi­cials are pleased with this sit­u­a­tion by giv­ing the ex­cuse of ‘let them earn a liv­ing. ’We live in a rich coun­try with gen­er­ous peo­ple and a gov­ern­ment squan­ders funds in grants and aid to east and west.

How can we be fine with seven-year-olds beg­ging and sub­ject­ing them­selves to dan­ger, de­vi­a­tion or be­ing kid­napped? Car­ing for chil­dren can­not be achieved only by sign­ing in­ter­na­tional treaties and agree­ments with­out pro­vid­ing them with real pro­tec­tion and care. If the rea­son back­ing this is that they are non-Kuwaitis (bedoons or be­long­ing to other Arab na­tion­al­i­ties), this can cre­ate a se­ri­ous prob­lem in the near fu­ture. La­bel­ing Kuwait a ‘Hu­man­i­tar­ian Cen­ter’ is not only an honor, but a great bur­den as well. It will only re­main pro­vok­ingly nom­i­nal as long as we re­main silent about such prob­lems.

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