National, News

MPs adjourn debate on street children

By Bida Elly David

The fate of countless street children in the country remains uncertain as parliament adjourned a session after summoned officials failed to show up.

Mounting calls for urgent action to address the plight of the vulnerable children on the streets had forced the parliament to summon Central Equatoria State governor and other line ministers for questioning.

Central Equatoria State governor, the state minister of gender, child and social welfare, Humanitarian Affairs minister and Minister of Interior were to appear before the parliament.

However, none of the summoned leaders appeared, leaving the lawmakers disheartened, fearing that the dire circumstances faced by street kids would persist without effective intervention.

Spokesperson of the national parliament, John Agany stated that the influx of street kids in cities is alarming and devastating.

Agany stated that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Humanitarian Ministry, Ministry of Interior and state governments to ensure child protection.

The lawmakers, however, blamed parents for failing to execute their parental responsibilities, forcing children on the streets.

“Why are these children given birth and are not taken care of by their parents? You cannot bring children that you can’t take care of. This is very serious that the government has to look into it,” Agany said.

The parliament spokesperson said governments in some countries have introduced population control to mitigate such scenarios.

“You can see that even some government restrict giving birth to some limited number of children, this is because we need to take care of them,’’ he said

However, he mentioned that most issues of street children are related to the lack of family laws across the Country.

“This like will happen if family laws are not in place but people must know that it is a call to give birth to a child that you will take care of. No human being will give birth to children that they will never attend to,” he added.

Some lawmakers are concerned about delays in the state government’s explanation of the suffering of street children in the city, But Governor Emmanuel Adil’s and the Ministers’ absence has caused some irritation.

Lawmaker Anok Buol Deng, the raiser of the motion noted that many children have jumped into the streets due to various reasons that could not favor them.

“Street children are categorized into, orphaned street children, abandoned street children, runaway street children, economic or working street children, residing street children, and trafficked street children,” Anok said.

Anok noted with concern that the vulnerable children have different segments of problems, making their lives hard.

He said Central Equatoria State, being the host of the majority population, bears a greater number of street children.

Street children have long haunted the integrity of the nation, with their struggle for survival often outshone by other pressing matters.

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