Government has told Malawians to stop giving money to street children.
Minister Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Jean Kalilani made the remarks on Thursday during a press briefing on the 2018 International Day of Children Living/or Working in the Streets.
Kalilani said giving money to street kids attracts them to stay on the streets.
She however said Malawians can encourage families and communities to foster orphaned and vulnerable children to keep the kids away from the streets.
The theme for the 2018 commemoration is; “Fill the Gap: Turn Words into Reality.”
According to Kalilani, it calls for action and responsibility towards fulfilling the rights of children living or working in the streets in Malawi
“As you may be aware; access to rights by children in the street is often obstructed. The government has therefore taken the responsibility to ensure the children access and enjoy their rights just like any other child,” she said.
In Malawi there are about 6000 street children, 65 percent of whom live with their parents whilst 50 percent live with their relatives.
Children are forced into the streets due to factors such as domestic violence, abusive relatives or neglectful families.
Others do so because their families live in severe economic distress. Some parents in extreme poverty also force older children to leave home to find work which may include begging, selling scrap materials for recycling or prostitution.
To deal with issue of street kids, the Ministry of Gender is guided by the Orphans and other Vulnerable Children Policy which promotes building and strengthening the capacity of families and communities to care for children.