Wandering children being ‘actively’ removed from the streets


Under its ‘Street Light’ programme, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has carried out three raids for the year so far and a number of children found wandering were removed from the streets.

“We are actively picking up children off the streets,” Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud told the News Room in an interview on Wednesday.

Although the law provides for parents of these children to be charged, Dr Persaud said after the children are removed, the ministry works with their families and provides the necessary assistance.

“It’s not just pick up and return…. The law provides for us to charge parents when their children are found on the streets.

“The law has also been changed to not charge children who are wandering so ultimately, the parents are responsible,” she noted.

According to Dr Persaud, in all of the cases so far, the children who have been removed reside with their parents.

“…Once we remove a child from the streets, we work with that family to see what the root cause is for the child being on the street,” she said.

But Dr. Persaud acknowledged there are also instances whereby the children do return to the streets.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud (Photo: News Room/March 1, 2023)

She, however, related that the ministry is currently working with a number of businesses and commercial entities to ensure children are not encouraged in bars and gambling spots.

“They will have a big sign saying that they support this programme and that children will not be accommodated there,” she said.

To help tackle the issue, she is calling on members of the public to discourage child beggars and other children wandering on the streets. She also asked that people contact the Child Care and Protection Agency at the earliest.

“Children also beg on the streets and the law is very clear you shouldn’t be giving children money at all. So instead of that call us and let us pick up that child. Let us make sure that child has a good place at home or we can provide a meal or whatever is needed to keep that child very safe,” she said.

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