Parents and guardians whose children are in various streets of the country to beg have been given a two-week ultimatum to remove the children from the streets.
Government says parents who will not remove their children from the streets risk being arrested.
This is according to Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati who was addressing journalists at Capital Hill in Lilongwe on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
Kaliati said it is very worrisome that instead of being in schools, a lot of children continue roaming in various streets especially in the cities despite several government’s warning on the matter.
She added that the bad part of the story is that these kids are now being involved in series of attacks on innocent people in these cities a development which she said should not be condoned.
The minister then said her ministry will after the said two weeks start arresting all parents and guardians who let their children go begging in the streets, saying such acts contravenes Section 81 of the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act (2010).
Kaliati said the ministry has made this decision after noting that some parents deliberately send their children in streets to beg and she has since warned that such parents will be liable to a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment with hard labour.
“We have been removing these streets connected children to help them reconnect with their families but we noticed negligence from many parents. Some of them deliberately send their children to the streets and for that we will strictly crack a whip on them.
“We have had enough of their irresponsibility and this frustrates our efforts in ensuring that no child is left behind towards attainment of the right to education and health living,” warned Kaliati.
The minister also warned the general public to refrain from giving these street kids money or anything. She said action will be taken against whosoever is found doing so.
Meanwhile, the ministry of gender will be working hand in hand with Malawi’s security agencies, City Councils and other child rights stakeholders to ensure that there is total enforcement of the order.