Now, that might sound hash, but in a lot of developing countries where the choice is starving in the street or working for a ridiculous wage as a child. I know what I would prefer for myself.
Children begging in the streets are doing it for many reasons. In the Philippines, it is mainly because of their parent lack of judgement and religious belief that see them have too many kids they can’t afford to feed. Without sex education and the Catholic Church forcing them to “go forth and multiply”, over population has quickly become a problem. With laws preventing businesses from hiring young children and no social welfare to take care of them; prostitution, theft, begging in the street and scavenging mountains of junk for something to eat or sell is their only way to survive.
Boy begging in Agra – by Greg Younger
In Mexico City, child will work with their parents, again scavenging or begging in the streets to make enough money to buy food.
If the government or the Church, which is at the root of the problem in the first place can’t help them, they shouldn’t prevent them from working for a legitimate business, where they would have a safer working environment and a structure. If regulated, they would also have more reasonable hours, a more stable source of income and ultimately food, clothing and shelter.
People say that you shouldn’t give to child beggars, because that is likely going to encourage their parents or handler to force them to continue. I say to that, give them food instead, like they are doing in India through the Dabbawallas network, where the people simply add one more container of food and label it for distribution for hungry children.
Child labour only exists where they have to work at a young age or starve to death. If you are against young kids working, don’t go after the companies that hire them. Give the parents contraception and sex education, establish government programs and citizen initiatives to feel and house these kids. Focus on the problem before they are even born.