Story By: Njoku Ifeoma Gold
Child or children street hawking is about how girls and boys who are less than eighteen years a are being sent out to the streets for hawking.
Street hawking by children especially the girls has been a common thing in most parts of developing and undeveloped world.
It is not anything good,it does not only end on children’s hawking but there are causes and its effects on the society at large. Irrespective of the causes and effects of children hawking on the streets of many parts of the world,possible remedies or solutions can be applied by the governments,parents and sponsors to solve the challenging issues.
Before I proceed deeper into this issue,let’s define the major terms,child and hawking. Who is a child? A child is any individual that is below legal age of any country(18yrs) While Hawking according to African network on prevention and protection against child abuse and neglect (ANPPCAN 2010)”is the recruitment, transportation,transfer,harbouring or receipt of female by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion,abduction,fraud,deception,abuse of power,a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payments,benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over the child for the purpose of exploitation”.
Most trafficked and poor children who fall victim to this inhuman and intimidating condition are always busy preparing for their hawking business while their mates are seen rushing to schools so that they can become dignified citizens of substance in future, what a pitiable condition.What breaks my heart the most is that the madams of these abused children hardly buys good clothes for them to wear,neither did they give them a complete squeal meal in a day for the hard work they do,early in the morning even at cold weather condition,these children are seen on the streets wandering like sheep without shepherd.
CAUSES OF CHILD STREET HAWKING
(1) POVERTY:-Poverty has contributed greatly to child street hawking because parents cannot afford enough money to eat in their homes not to even talk more of the one they will use to pay their children school fees, all they do is to make effort to buy trays for their children and fill them with some edible materials to be sold on streets people and road travelers.
(2) POOR FAMILY PLANNING:-These are caused by men that know how to easily impregnate their wives but find it difficult to train their children.Because some families do not adopt and practice family planning,they give birth to more children than the number they can train.The parents begin to think on how to get support to train the children and this ends up in sending the children to the streets to make money for them through hawking of goods on streets for people to buy and pay them.
(3) CHILD TRAFFICKING:-Child trafficking is an act against the law but traffickers are still engaging in such dirty business.In some countries,women in the cities visit rural areas and meet mothers who they think can easily agree for them to take their daughters or sons to the city where they stay.The poor parents usually thinks that persons they handed over their children to will take care of them properly without knowing that they have subjected their children to the modern day slavery known as child trafficking.
(4) WAR:-A wise government does anything within his power to see that anything that can lead to war is eliminated.When war occur,children usually go fatherless and motherless as breeze of wars come with many killings and bloodshed,blood that is shared during wars are usually that of the parents of various children.
(5) ILLITRACY:-There are locations in the world that have parents with high illiteracy level,these kinds of parents do not pay any good respect to education because they lack the knowledge on how education can transform people to be better,they prefer to send their children to the streets where they will make money for them.
EFFECTS OF CHILDREN HAWKING
PROSTITUTION AND RAPE:-The prostitutes we see in various buildings started it small and becomes professionals in the business,some started when they were young as a result of hawking on the streets and become experts in their adult ages.Also many young girls that hawk goods on streets as street children have on many occasions been raped by their superiors.
POOR EDUCATION:-Children don’t have time to go to school because they are busy making money for their superiors and because these children were the benefits associated with education,they face difficulties in their future lives.
GANG STEALING:-Because street hawking children are exposed to a lot of negative things,they can form a group that go out to steal peoples properties and in the course of doing this,most of them may get shot by security men and that ends their journey in life.
MORAL DECLINE:-Street hawking children are not properly equipped in moral practice,and it has been affecting most of them in a very big way.Most children that are into street hawking do not live with their parents and this has robbed them when it comes to morality.
SOLUTIONS TO CHILD/CHILDREN HAWKING
(1) IMPLEMENTATION OF CHILD’S RIGHT ACT:-The government and NGOs that work to ensure that the children are not treated in inhuman manner have some roles to perform here.When the offenders of the law protecting child’s right are properly treated in accordance to the offence they commit,they will stop sending the children to the streets for hawking.
(2) CONTRUCTION OF ORPHANAGE HOMES:-Building of orphanage homes is another welcomed idea that can reduce the level of child hawking on the planet earth.Doing this will reduce the number of street children and help the health challenge they would have faced while hawking on the streets because they will be well taken care of through the government and individuals in the orphanage homes.
(3) REACHING OUT TO THE POOR:-Some parents send their children to the streets not because they like hawking business by the children,but due to the fact that poverty is eating up their families.When children are seen hawking on the street,government officials who work to reduce the level of children street hawking should follow the children to their homes to see their parents and find out the situation of things and then report to the government for assistance.